The City of New Haven sent an email out with its new guidance for all sports late Thursday afternoon, listing sports from low to high risk in accordance with state and federal guidance, and a final determination by the New Haven Public Health Department. CIAC fall sports girls volleyball and football have been listed as high risk by the city. Those sports will not be played this fall.
Among the winter sports included in the high-risk, not-allowed category are basketball, wrestling and cheer (sideline cheer is low risk and allowed).
“This decision is difficult and not taken lightly. We know that this has been a frustrating and challenging time for many members of our community,” New Haven Mayor Justin Elicker said in a statement. “However, it is the right decision to follow State Department of Health guidance regarding sports to ensure that we reduce the spread of COVID-19 and more quickly return to normality and regular sports seasons.”
The email also states this guidance is only for the fall season. COVID metrics will determine whether this guidance remains for the winter season.
Just last week, Maritza Bond, the city’s director of public health, had sent out an email allowing soccer and girls volleyball to return to practice. The state Department of Health has been advocating for volleyball to be played outdoors — which is listed in a moderate-risk category and would be allowed this fall.
The CIAC chose to keep the sport indoors, requiring all players to wear masks.
Other sports on the high risk list that are played in New Haven are football and lacrosse. The CIAC Board of Control voted Wednesday not to move forward with full contact football. New Haven announced Aug. 14 it would not compete in full contact football this season.
“Defined by the NFHS as sports that involve close, sustained contact between participants, lack of significant protective barriers, and high probability that respiratory particles will be transmitted between participants. Unfortunately, given the significant risks involved, these sports are currently not allowed to be played,” the email states.
The sports of soccer (moderate risk), cross country (low) and girls swimming (low) can continue with fall seasons. While track sports are listed as low-risk, the field portion is under moderate risk.
Other sports considered moderate risk that are played in New Haven are baseball, softball and tennis.