Since high school athletes in Stamford began practicing Jan. 19, they have been doing so in a state of limbo waiting for the city’s department of health and board of education to grant permission for games to be played.
That wait is now over.
The Stamford and Westhill athletic programs found out Friday afternoon that sports can go ahead with games when the FCIAC season begins.
The season is tentatively slated to begin Feb. 8 but the FCIAC has not finalized its schedule as it waited for several districts, including Stamford, to allow sports.
Stamford athletic director Chris Passamano said the student athletes and coaches deserve credit for adhering to protocols throughout the fall and early winter.
“I think the way we handled ourselves as an athletic program as a whole set the tone for doing this.” Passamano said. “Our teams followed the rules as well as any school in the state and it showed in the amount we played. I fully expect our winter teams to follow that example and set us up well for the spring season. I have made it crystal clear to every team we have a zero tolerance policy for not following all safety protocols.”
Passamano said the news was a welcome relief for students.
“I’m happy for our kids and for the opportunity,” Passamano said. “People outside the sports world don’t understand the impact and importance sports have on kids. It helped me stay grounded as a student and it does so much for our student-athletes too.”
The health departments in the Norwalk and Fairfield have yet to grant permission for schools to compete in games, though teams are allowed to practice in cohorts.
The FCIAC is hoping to have divisions and schedules set by Monday, but that is contingent on towns finalizing plans to return to play, according to FCIAC Commissioner Dave Schulz
Should one or more of the above municipalities not grant permission for games to be played, the FCIAC schedule would be greatly impacted.