The fallout from the spread of the coronavirus has hit high school sports in the state. The Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference has notified schools that it has canceled the state championships for all winter sports.
There will be no 2020 champion for CIAC-sanctioned winter sports, and that hasn’t happened for some sports since the 1920s.
Spokesman Joel Cookson says the CIAC has yet to determine the fate of the spring sports playoffs.
“It’s difficult to say to seniors and to others that they won’t have the opportunity to finish these tournaments,” said Cookson. “But we do believe it is what is in the best interests of all of our membership and the schools in Connecticut.”
The news brought instant reaction from the teams that were still in the hunt for glory this season. Daniel Hand (Madison) girls basketball coach Tim Tredwell took to Twitter to commiserate with his players.
Your #ctgb careers weren’t supposed to end like this. I would love the opportunity to see you two lead your team on the court one last time. Thank you both for everything you’ve done for this team, this program and for me. pic.twitter.com/54Bh9sEjJ9
— Tim Tredwell (@TimTredwell) March 10, 2020
Others disagreed with the CIAC’s call. Notre Dame High School basketball coach Jason Shea tweeted “shame on the CIAC.”
Every single parent and player should contact their schools administrator and express loudly their willingness to sign waivers and play games. I’m sure we can find a few sites to hold contests without fans #cthk #ctbb
— NDWH Basketball (@CoachShea1) March 10, 2020
Jake Walker, a former goalie for Fairfield Prep, began a petition online to pressure the CIAC to consider reinstating the championship games, but play them without spectators as a concession to public health.
I don’t care who you are, who you root for, who you hate, what sport you play, how old you are. We all need to rally behind this. https://t.co/Nzj7Rwotew
— Jake Walker (@JDWalker37) March 10, 2020
This news comes as other organizations consider canceling sporting events or playing them in the absence of spectators.
The Ivy league has canceled its postseason men’s basketball tournament and given the league’s automatic NCAA Tournament bid to Yale.