FCIAC to play 10-game football schedule, no league final in 2016

With CIAC rules limiting Connecticut high school football teams to 10 regular-season games, the FCIAC will no longer play a league championship game in 2016, ending a 50-year tradition.

A statement released today on FCIAC.net cited the CIAC rule as the reason for the change.

According to the FCIAC statement: “The conference final would be an 11th game for the two teams involved, which would violate CIAC rules.”

Under the new schedule, teams will remain in their current FCIAC divisions, and will play two crossover games against teams from the other division. Those crossovers will include the traditional rivalry games, including New Canaan-Darien, Greenwich-Staples, and Warde-Ludlowe.

This year’s final featured New Canaan and Darien, with Darien winning 28-21 for its second straight title. More than 8,000 fans attended the game, which was held at Stamford’s Boyle Stadium, the traditional home of the FCIAC final. An additional 11,000 viewed the game on the HAN Network.

Greenwich has the most league championships with 12, the last coming in 2007. New Canaan is second with eight, Staples has seven, Darien has six, and Trumbull has five.

Here is the full statement from the league:

The FCIAC Board of Directors has modified their football schedule for 2016. The modified schedule will include 10 games for each team to comply with the CIAC limitation on regular season games.

The FCIAC championship game which celebrated its 50th anniversary this year and was attended by over 8,000 fans and viewed by another 11,000 on the HAN Network will no longer be played. The conference final would be an 11th game for the two teams involved, which would violate CIAC rules.

The FCIAC will not crown a conference champion in 2016, which is also an effect of the CIAC limitations.

The league’s 17 teams will again be divided into two divisions, with nine teams in the West and eight in the East. Teams will play every opponent within their division, with two crossover games, including the traditional Thanksgiving Day contests.

East Division teams will have an open week and can schedule a non-conference opponent as their 10th game. The new schedule is being announced at an early date to allow these teams time to find an opponent for the open week.

The new schedule was approved by a clear majority vote of the members of the FCIAC Board of Directors, which includes athletic directors, committee chairpersons and school principals.

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Darien and New Canaan football captains shake hands before the start of the FCIAC final at Stamford's Boyle Stadium on Thanksgiving. — Dave Stewart/HAN Network photo

Darien and New Canaan football captains shake hands before the start of the FCIAC final at Stamford’s Boyle Stadium on Thanksgiving. — Dave Stewart/HAN Network photo

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Dave Stewart

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