CIAC Cancels Remainder of Winter Season Due to Coronavirus Fears

Abby Wexler, Editor-in-Chief

On March 10 around 11:00 a.m., the Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference (CIAC) held a press conference where they decided to cancel any remaining  Winter Tournament games. Shortly after, at 11:37 a.m., CT HS Hockey tweeted “I really didn’t want to be the first to post this but after confirming with multiple sources, the decision has been made to cancel all remailing CIAC winter tournament games. My heart breaks for the seniors.” The tournament cancelation is in direct response to the COVID-19 outbreak.

A tweet from CT HS Hockey announcing the cancelation

Coronavirus, also known as COVID-19, has been a growing issue around the world, but more recently, an issue in the United States. The virus has become an epidemic, leading to concerned citizens. Besides the families it has affected directly and the lives tragically lost, communities are taking measures in advance to try to prevent the spread and the potential lives lost. But are the measures some communities and states are taking too extreme? 

As of March 9, there were two confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Connecticut residents. The virus is extremely spreadable, but is two cases enough to justify canceling the tournaments? Is the CIAC being appropriately safe, or too safe? The disease is tragic and extremely serious, but some feel that stripping away the chance to win a state tournament that some athletes have been working towards for their entire athletic career is not the correct response to the two cases of Coronavirus.  Within hours of the announcement, an online petition to reverse the decision had gathered thousands of signatures.

 

There are many extreme opinions regarding this cancellation. Edward Zielkman, a Stamford Westhill Hockey Senior and Assistant Captain, said, “It’s very upsetting to have the state championship cancelled, especially with the amount of seniors we have on the team and the amount of talent. Our team has been looking forward to this and playing in hopes of winning a championship for years now and we had a real good shot to achieve that goal this year, so there’s nothing worse than to be going out like this, especially with all the momentum we had after winning in the first round.”

 

On the other hand, Stamford High School Teacher Jeremy White (whose children are student athletes) said, “I think there’s logic in it in the sense that we don’t know how many people are actually carrying the virus, and without knowing how many people are carrying it and who’s susceptible to it, there’s logic to shutting things down and controlling the spread of it before it gets too bad.” White made clear that while he does understand the logic behind the cancellation, he doesn’t agree with it. 

 

A tweet from SHS Athletic Director Chris Passamano

Chris Passamano, the Stamford High Athletic director tweeted on March 10, “Stamford Westhill Hockey, Stamford Boys Basketball, Stamford Swim, and Black Knight Nation: I’m so sorry you won’t get your chance to compete for a title – everyone’s goal at the start of the season. I am proud of you & your efforts and the way you’ve represented Stamford this year! Thank you.”