Colorado high school athletics association plans to resume fall sports on schedule
Summit girls rugby coach hopeful team will be able to practice in August, as well
DILLON — The Colorado High School Activities Association on Friday released a statement informing the high school sports community that it intends to commence fall sports come autumn.
In the statement, CHSAA Commissioner Rhonda Blanford-Green said the state association is proceeding with guidelines and standards for resuming fall sports on their scheduled start dates.
Blanford-Green added that CHSAA, the governing body of Colorado high school sports, is encouraged by the most recent guidelines from Gov. Jared Polis’ office, saying they “align” with the association’s plans to resume all education-based athletics and activities for the 2020-21 school year.
The commissioner said the state’s newest safer-at-home order and pending protect-our-neighbors phase provide CHSAA staff with more flexibility to construct regular season, postseason and contingency plans for fall programs. She added that all of the association’s sport-specific plans will be subject to oversight and review from CHSAA’s sports medicine advisory committee before the plans are released to school athletic departments across the state for implementation. That advisory committee includes a mental health component.
The commissioner said CHSAA staff is preparing to potentially adjust and modify sports programs to meet “the diverse educational platforms that will be introduced this fall.”
Blanford-Green acknowledged the statewide organization’s task could become more complicated considering educational and health mandates might vary at district levels and from county to county. With that, Blanford-Green said CHSAA’s plans will be subject to change “to provide equitable participation opportunities across the state.”
“A shutdown in one area, impacting one classification, would send our staff back to the white board,” she said in the statement. “The state and county data and decisions are fluctuating, so we continue to plan for the knowns of today and the unknowns of tomorrow.”
As of Friday afternoon, CHSAA lists Aug. 10 as the association’s start date for practice for cross-country running, field hockey, football, gymnastics, boys soccer, softball, spirit, boys tennis, girls volleyball and unified tennis. Boys golf is scheduled to start practice a week earlier on Aug. 3.
Summit High School fields football, cross-country running, boys golf, boys soccer and girls volleyball teams. Per CHSAA, boys golf would begin game play Aug. 6, boys soccer, cross-country running and girls volleyball would begin game play Aug. 20 and football on Aug. 27.
“Our primary and only objective, while acknowledging that we are still in the midst of a national pandemic, will be to resume athletics and activities with the safety and well-being of our participants, coaches, officials, staff and school communities in the forefront,” Blanford-Green said in the statement.
In the fall, Summit High also fields a girls rugby team that competes via Rugby Colorado, the governing body of all youth and high-school level rugby. On Friday, team head coach Karl Barth said he hadn’t heard any specifics on the start of the high school rugby season. That said, he added he is optimistic that there is a good chance Rugby Colorado’s high school season will take place in some fashion if schools are in session and CHSAA is undertaking competition.
The Tigers girls rugby team traditionally begins its August practices the same week CHSAA resumes practice.
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