CHSAA announces 2020-21 school sports dates, pushing football, soccer and volleyball to after first of year
The Colorado High School Activities Association announced Tuesday the 2020-21 sports schedule, which will have limited fall sports.
Cross country was added to the list of approved fall sports, joining boys golf, girls softball and boys tennis. There will be no football, soccer or volleyball in the fall, but those are scheduled to be played at a different time later in the school year.
The state’s COVID-19 Response Team within the governor’s office spent months looking at the return-to-play plans that CHSAA submitted and emerged with a new schedule.
Locally, the Roaring Fork Schools in Glenwood Springs, Carbondale and Basalt were given the go-ahead to begin golf practice on Tuesday, implementing CHSAA’s safety precautions.
Still to be determined is whether the other limited fall sports will be allowed to proceed with practices next week, and while the district opens the new school year Aug. 17 with distance learning.
The district indicated in a July 24 announcement that school-sponsored activities and travel would not be allowed until at least Sept. 21. District officials were seeking clarification from CHSAA before making a final determination.
“The caveat is that things could change when we hear from public health,” Roaring Fork Schools spokesperson Kelsy Been said. “We are hoping to have a broader announcement out tomorrow or Thursday.”
The new CHSAA calendar divides sports into four seven-week seasons: A, B, C and D.
“The health and safety of our student participants, coaches, officials and essential personnel, including volunteers is a primary concern for the return of interscholastic athletics and activities,” CHSAA Commissioner Rhonda Blanford-Green said in a news release. “We are very grateful for the state, health and educational leaders for their shared commitment of a return to these highly beneficial education programs when it is deemed safe for all school communities.”
Each season will last about seven weeks, and the number of regular-season contests will be reduced. There will also be a shortened postseason for each sport, with fewer state qualifiers. Sports played this fall will wrap up before Oct. 17. A complete list of dates can be found at chsaanow.com.
Anticipating many questions surrounding the move of football, CHSAA NOW published a Q & A with assistant commissioner Adam Bright, who oversees football. Football will begin practice in late February and games will start March 4. The sport is allowed to begin practice a week earlier than other sports in season C due to the required number of practices before playing. The season will be composed of seven games. Eight teams from each classification will enter the postseason.
Season B will begin Jan. 4 and include basketball, ice hockey, skiing, girls swimming, wrestling and spirit.
Season C will begin March 1 and include field hockey, football, boys soccer, girls volleyball, gymnastics and unified bowling.
Season D will start April 26 and feature baseball, girls golf, lacrosse, girls soccer, girls tennis, track and field, boys swimming and boys volleyball.
Dates for nonathletic activities are still being decided.
All activities are subject to change depending on local, state and national guidelines.
To comply with health guidelines, sports will have modifications in place that can be found at chsaanow.com/coronavirus/modifications.
Post Independent reporter John Stroud contributed to this report.
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