After weeks of mixed messages and conflicting opinions between state-level sports officials and CT public health experts, the game clock is counting down for high school athletes waiting to find out whether or not they’ll be participating in organized sports this fall.

They’ll have to keep waiting as the discussion will go into overtime after Thursday night, Aug. 20, when both sides–the Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference (CIAC) and the CT Department of Public Health–faced off to discuss whether fall sports will still happen–but walked out after more than two hours without a concrete decision.

In the meantime, all organized activities for high school athletics, including team conditioning and practices, have been paused.

The CIAC issued a statement Thursday evening indicating that at least there’s listening going on.

“The meeting allowed the CIAC to better understand the change in DPH’s position and recommendations for interscholastic athletics from late July to their August 13, 2020 letter.”

The statement also said both parties are committed to a safe-play solution.
“The more than two-hour meeting demonstrated the commitment that both the CIAC and DPH share in providing safe, meaningful, interscholastic athletic experiences for our students.”

On Friday, the ReOpen CT Rules Committee is meeting, and will discuss what the statement called “inconsistency between DPH recommendations for CIAC interscholastic athletics and non-CIAC sanctioned sport activities.”

It also noted that the CIAC “welcomes the additional dialogue that will continue following the Rules Committee meeting,” although it was not specified when representatives from CIAC and DPH will meet again.

Updates will come after the CIAC Board of Control meets again, although no timing was specified. Despite leaving athletes, coaches, schools and fans with a “wait-and-see” delay, the statement noted, “The CIAC believes that our continued collaborations with DPH will provide a clear direction for fall interscholastic athletics in the near future.”