April 17, 2021

Winter Sports Start in Lyme-Old Lyme Schools with Practices, Games Begin Feb. 8

Basketball practices start today for both the boys’ and girls’ squads at Lyme-Old Lyme Schools.

LYME/OLD LYME — Not only do Lyme-Old Lyme (LOL) Schools reopen today after the Martin Luther King Day holiday, but the Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference (CIAC) winter high school sports season also starts.

This latter situation became possible after the CIAC Board of Control approved the CIAC Winter Sports Plan at a meeting last Thursday, Jan. 14, which allows students to start practicing (CIAC) winter sports of basketball, fencing, gymnastics and ice hockey Jan. 19 and to commence competition, Feb. 8.

In the same way as the fall season, the winter sports plan will be shorter and stay closer to home since, again, there will be no state tournaments, which can cause teams to travel all over the state. There will, however, be an equivalent of  the Shoreline Conference Tournament for Lyme-Old Lyme Schools held March 15-28. Not all member schools will necessarily compete, however, as the CIAC has permitted the final decision regarding whether to participate in winter sports to be made at school level.

The winter season is scheduled to run through March 28 and, at this point, the spring sports season is planned to start March 29.

Lyme-Old Lyme Schools Superintendent Ian Neviaser explained exclusively to LymeLine that the plan for LOL Schools winter sports season is that, “All sports [which include basketball, fencing, gymnastics and ice hockey] except wrestling and indoor track,” will start practicing today. The CIAC has deemed wrestling a high-risk activity meaning, it, “does not recommend any activities beyond small group conditioning and non-contact skill building for the duration of the winter season.”

Although indoor track has been categorized as a “moderate and lower risk sports,” and can therefore start practices today, Neviaser states, “We are working to find ways to have indoor track outside so we may be able to hold competitions that way.” The CIAC is not allowing indoor track meets until March at the earliest.

Masks will be required at all times by athletes, coaches, game personnel and officials, but Lyme-Old Lyme Schools will not be allowing spectators at any games or sporting events.

Asked to comment on the overall CIAC’s Winter Sports Plan, Neviaser said by email, “The lack of virus transmission during fall sports supports the CIAC’s current position,” adding, “We are glad to see our students once again having the opportunity to exercise and compete against their peers at other schools.”

He noted in conclusion, “Unfortunately, we cannot have fans but will live stream as many games as we can.” LymeLine will publish details of all games, which are being live-streamed, as soon as they are available.

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