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Middletown fall sports given green light to compete, except for football

Athletes can practice, but the football season remains canceled. Dance teams will also not be allowed to compete

MIDDLETOWN, Conn. — All fall sports in Middletown can continue practicing starting today, even football. But, when it comes to competitions, some teams are limited.

The Board of Education is trying to keep those athletes active even though the Connecticut Interscholastic Atheltic Conference has canceled full-contact 11 v 11 football across the state.

Middletown's BOE met virtually Tuesday night to discuss the fall sports season, talking about the benefits sports have on children. They also discussed how organized sports through the school are the safest option right now due to the precautions that are being taken, and the ability to contact trace if anyone were to get sick.

Soccer, cross country, swimming, girls volleyball, and cheerleading are all able to continue. The board said football and dance can practice but will not be competing. 

The CIAC'S decision to cancel the football season is one that is affecting schools all over the state. 

Student-athletes, their families, and coaches have all been speaking out against the decision, arguing that there are precautions that can be taken to keep players safe and that they would be willing to play in the spring.

Republicans and Democrats from the state legislature addressed letters to Governor Ned Lamont, calling on him to meet with the CIAC and the state Department of Public Health (DPH)  to find a solution.

“[...] here’s our guidance, here’s what we think makes the most sense. But, if it’d be helpful to sit down with public health and football, I’d be happy to do that, "said Gov. Lamont.

Today, there is a protest planned for 5 p.m. at the State Capitol Building, demanding a football season this school year. 

The CIAC had said it does not plan on allowing a football season in the spring, but it is looking into other options for the fall, like 7 v 7. 

However, athletes and coaches are not happy about that either, saying it's not the same experience.