There will be no full-contact high school football in Connecticut for the 2020-21 academic year. The Hartford Courant
on Thursday reported the Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference canceled its alternate wedge season, scheduled for March 19-April 28.
In September, the CIAC had gone back and forth several times on plans for fall football, but ultimately "without DPH (Department of Health) support," pushed the season back to winter and spring of 2021.
Connecticut is the second state to officially cancel a once-delayed football season. On Jan. 6, Hawaii canceled football
among 13 fall and winter sports due to COVID-19. Other states, including California, are wrestling with the possibility of no gridiron play in 2020-21.
The announcement came the same day the Connecticut association officially approved winter sports
to begin Jan. 19 with competition slated to begin Feb. 8. Those sports are basketball, gymnastics, ice hockey, indoor track and field, and boys swimming.
"The board did take action today, where we canceled the alternative season," CIAC Executive Director Glenn Lungarini told the Courant. "We certainly understand and empathize that those athletes that would have been able to have some sort of competition in that alternative season will not be able to have that competition."
The Department of Public Health's recommendation that no high-risk sports be played until after the winter season pushed the cancellation of the wedge season, the CIAC explained. The season would have been too short, or if extended, would have cut into the 2021 fall season. The state association also has vowed to play a full spring sports calendar.
Lungarini said placing football and other high-risk sports into spring would have caused too many conflicts for athletes, noting that 38 percent of football players historically play a spring sport.
Weston and Killingly battled for the 2019 CIAC Class M championship.
File photo by Kevin Pataky
In California, as COVID-19 numbers continue to soar, a football season moved from fall to winter and now delayed another month has many concerned that it might not be played at all.
Football is still two tiers from being able to even practice as 54 of 58 California counties remained locked in the purple tier (widespread risk of virus) by the state's health department. The California Interscholastic Federation and its 10 sections are now planning to get low-risk sports such as golf, cross country and tennis started by Jan. 25.
To advocate for its players and youth sports in general, the Golden State HS Football Coaches Community was formed late last month and now has more than 700 members. It hopes to gain an open line of communication to the governor's office to show that football can played safely.
Also, a parent-driven Facebook page "Let Them Play California" has recently ballooned to nearly 30,000 followers. More than 100 “Let Them Play” socially-distanced rallies on high school
campuses and the State Capitol in Sacramento are planned throughout on Friday.
Texas and Michigan have scheduled football championships planned this month, states No. 32 and 33 to complete fall football seasons. Of those, five did not finish state playoffs due to COVID-19 concerns.