AURORA, Colo. (BVM) — The Colorado High School Activities Association is marking its 100th season of sanctioned competition during the 2020-21 school year, and it’s safe to say this one will be like none of the other 99 before it.
The CHSAA has released a revised calendar after months of collaborating with Colorado governor Jared Polis and state health officials to plan the best course of action for how to proceed with sports in the midst of the ongoing the COVID-19 pandemic. The biggest change will take place this fall, with football, volleyball and boys soccer all being pushed back to early March as part of a revised sports schedule that splits into four seasons: A, B, C and D.
All four seasons will be approximately seven weeks long with the postseason shortened and the number of state qualifiers reduced. The four sports that will compete this fall, known as Season A, are boys golf, boys tennis, softball and cross country, all of which will conclude by October 17. In anticipation of a likely resurgence in coronavirus cases in late fall, the CHSAA will implement a participation moratorium from Oct. 18 through Jan. 3, 2021. Winter sports (Season B) will then begin Jan. 4.
“Everything is not ideal,” CHSAA commissioner Rhonda Blanford-Green said in a Zoom press conference. “Anytime you go outside of the norm it’s not ideal. We’re a 100-year-old association. Our norms are set for us, our seasons are set for us, our dates are set for us, but at the end of the day we’re in a pandemic and we’re charged with creating opportunities for our kids within the state guidelines and education guidelines.”
Season B will include basketball, ice hockey, skiing, spirit, girls swimming and wrestling, all of which will conclude by March 6. Spring has been divided into Season C and D. Season C, which includes football, boys soccer, girls volleyball, field hockey, gymnastics and bowling, is slated to begin March 4, with football teams allowed to begin practicing Feb. 22. The other Season C sports will start practicing March 1.
Season D competition will include more traditional spring sports like baseball, lacrosse, girls soccer, girls tennis, track & field and girls golf. The final season will conclude with championships on June 26.
The CHSAA calendar is still subject to change depending on how the pandemic progresses at the national and state level, but Blanford-Green has confidence in the plan that’s currently in place.
”Where we are today we feel very good about the ability to not have disruptions, to not have cancellations and to try to to give every kid in the state of Colorado the opportunity to participate in a sport in a season that they love,” Blanford-Green said.