Updated: Coronavirus concerns postpone Colorado high school spring sports season, cancel major sporting events
Colorado high school sports games and practices canceled through April 6
FRISCO — Summit County’s local youth sports community was hit hard at home and afar Thursday amid the wave of postponements and cancellations in the sports world due to the coronavirus concerns.
The Colorado High School Activities Association — the governing body of the state’s high school sports — announced in an statement from Commissioner Rhonda Blanford-Green shortly after noon Thursday that all CHSAA-sanctioned spring sports and activities will be suspended effective Friday through April 6 “to address concerns surrounding the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.”
COVID-19 stands for coronavirus disease 2019 and is caused by a type of coronavirus. The World Health Organization has declared the COVID-19 outbreak a global pandemic.
Blanford-Green said in the statement that the suspension includes practices and competition for all spring sports. The commissioner added that outreach with the Colorado Athletic Directors Association will be conducted remotely at a date to be announced.
CHSAA’s decision is effective Friday, March 13, but CHSAA added that the decision to continue competition Thursday is up to local schools and school districts.
“The situation will be monitored and evaluated with key decision-makers from around the state to determine when, or if, to resume the spring season,” Blanford-Green said in the statement.
The only Summit High School sport set to compete Thursday was the Tigers track and field team at the season-opening Rangeview Raider Kickoff in Aurora. Tigers track head coach Kristy McClain said via text Thursday afternoon that the team still would compete in the meet.
All of the Tigers’ other spring sports teams were set to begin their first games of the season either Friday or this weekend. Tiger teams were able to convene practice Thursday afternoon for one final time before the suspension of activities.
CHSAA’s decision came after Blanford-Green convened a digital conference Wednesday morning with more than 50 administrators from all parts of the state to collaboratively create a plan. CHSAA said in its statement that the group arrived at a consensus to support the suspension decision made by the CHSAA office.
As for winter club sports affecting Summit County, Summit Nordic Ski Club head coach Olof Hedberg said he was informed shortly after noon Thursday of the cancellation of the remainder of this week’s Cross Country Skiing Junior Nationals in Soda Springs, California. The cancellation of the Nordic Junior Nationals was a part of U.S. Ski & Snowboard’s decision to cancel all remaining domestic events due to coronavirus concerns. Hedberg said two of four competitions were able to be held in Soda Springs.
Back on the homefront, Team Breckenridge Sports Club Executive Officer Katie Merrion said the local sports club would not take part in this weekend’s highly anticipated International Freeskiers & Snowboarders Association U-12 big mountain event at Breckenridge Ski Resort due to the IFSA’s cancellation of events effective immediately.
Merrion said the U.S. Ski & Snowboard Association’s cancellation of all domestic USSA events would prevent Team Breck athletes from competing in local and regional events previously scheduled, though Merrion did not know for certain as of early Thursday afternoon how Team Breck’s on-mountain practices and training would be affected.
Merrion said U.S. Ski & Snowboard Association’s cancellation of all sanctioned and scheduled events beginning Monday left open the possibility that some Team Breck athletes would take part in Alpine skiing events over the weekend. Merrion said the Team Breckenridge board of directors is scheduled to meet Friday evening to discuss the situation further.
The Team Summit winter sports club also responded to the coronavirus concerns Thursday. In an email to Team Summit staff, Team Summit Executive Director C.B. Bechtel said the USSA’s cancellation effective Monday would affect Team Summit athletes competing in Moguls Nationals, Spring Cool Down, the Alpine U-12 Championships, Youth Ski League Championships, Sync Finals, the Giant Slalom Spectacular and the Loveland Derby.
As of Thursday afternoon, Team Summit also was organizing how the ongoing coronavirus situation would affect the club’s remaining training and spring and summer camps.
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