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FCIAC announces new schedule for league tournaments, football

Updated 8:16 pm, Wednesday, October 31, 2012
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The Fairfield County Interscholastic Athletic Conference, trying its best to complete both the league playoffs that were postponed this week due to Hurricane Sandy, and not lose any scheduled football games, announced a revised schedule Wednesday afternoon.

This weekend's football games have been pushed back almost a week, while conference tournaments have been condensed, leading to co-champions in most sports.

The FCIAC issued the following statement when unveiling its plan: "It is very important to the FCIAC to maintain the integrity of the fall championship season. Given the number of schools that are not in session, and given the starting dates of the CIAC Tournaments, the FCIAC has made the following decisions: Boys soccer, girls soccer, field hockey and volleyball will declare co-champions from the semifinal winners. The swimming championships have been modified to timed finals only. Football dates have been modified to ensure the football championship game is preserved."

The football games scheduled for this Friday and Saturday will now be played on Thursday, Nov. 8. The Week 9 games will be moved to Tuesday, Nov. 13, with the championship game that was originally scheduled for Nov. 16 pushed back one day.

New Canaan coach Lou Marinelli said he was satisfied with the league's decision.

"I think it's fair," said Marinelli, the FCIAC football chairman. "It's a difficult situation for everybody. I'm glad they are not canceling any games. You want to keep the integrity set forth."

The league will now have shared championships between the semifinal round winners in boys and girls soccer, field hockey and volleyball.

The boys soccer semifinals will be played on Tuesday at Fairfield Ludlowe, with Greenwich facing Ridgefield at 5 and Wilton taking on Norwalk in the nightcap.

In girls soccer, Ridgefield will meet St. Joseph at 5 p.m. at Norwalk High School, with Greenwich and Trumbull meeting in the second game.

In field hockey, at New Canaan, the Rams will play Darien at 5, with Wilton and Greenwich playing in the second game.

The volleyball playoffs, which were to have started on Monday, will hold four quarterfinal games at the sites of the higher seeded teams on Tuesday, with the starting times to be announced. The semifinals will be played at Fairfield Ludlowe on Wednesday at 5 and 7.

The diving championships will be held at Westhill next Tuesday and the swimming, timed finals, the same day at Greenwich.

The moves were made after the CIAC announced earlier on Wednesday it was moving the start of its boys soccer, girls soccer, volleyball and field hockey tournaments, which were scheduled to begin as early as Monday, until Nov. 8 and 9. The State Open cross country championships are set for this Sunday, with the girls swimming finals either Nov. 9 or 12.

FCIAC president Dave Schulz said that while the CIAC's decision opened up dates for FCIAC playoff games, there were still a number of factors that had to be weighed, including school re-openings, availability of sites and allowing teams ample time to practice following this week's storm.

Most schools, when closed, do not allow their teams to play or train.

The initial reaction on Twitter by some FCIAC athletes in the sports with shared titles was mostly negative.

Schulz, who is also the athletic director at Fairfield Ludlowe, said he could understand the disappointment, but the league was under too many constraints.

"It's unfortunate the hurricane forced us to make this decision," Schulz said. "But with the allotment of time we have, this is what we have to deal with."

dave.ruden@scni.com; Twitter: @DaveRuden