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CIAC announces alternative season for football, earlier winter season

The CIAC announced plans for an “alternative season in the second semester for sports that do not complete at least 40% of games during their regularly scheduled season,” including 11-on-11 football, which will not begin this fall. It also came out against independent football and urged schools not to let coaches take part.

The plan — COVID-19 pandemic permitting — includes a slightly earlier winter season, with games beginning Dec. 7 and a state tournament ending Feb. 21. That second-semester alternative season begins March 19 and runs through April 17. The spring season has games starting April 23 and a state tournament ending June 27.

The plan adds that football coaches can still work with their players on school-sponsored football activities through Nov. 21, such as the 7-on-7 competitions that leagues have put in place. It emphasizes “school-sponsored,” which may keep many coaches from being involved in any independent tackle football.

“The CIAC is aware of independent football teams that are forming to offer a limited number of high school aged players a full contact fall league. The CIAC does not endorse play in such in leagues,” the plan says.

The state Department of Public Health declined to give the CIAC a recommendation to play tackle football this fall, though other fall sports are preparing to begin contests on Thursday. The CIAC will follow metrics that could force those sports to stop playing or even conditioning, depending on how the state fares with the COVID-19 pandemic.

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