CHSAA given clearance to let prep girls softball and boys tennis proceed

In this fall 2018 photo, Rifle's Delaney Phillips slides into second base against Basalt.
Chelsea Self / Post Independent file

Softball and boys’ tennis have been given approval to begin play this fall, Colorado High School Activities Association Commissioner Rhonda Blanford-Green announced Wednesday at the Association’s annual All-School Summit and in a CHSAA press release.

Decisions on other fall sports, including football, volleyball and boys soccer, are expected later this week.

Also, a question remains whether individual school districts, including the Roaring Fork Schools, may disallow sports and other school-sponsored activities even if others decide to participate.

The latest sports were approved as part of CHSAA’s return-to-play plan submitted to the state’s COVID-19 Response team within the Governor’s office, Blanford-Green noted.

Softball and boys’ tennis can begin practice as scheduled on Aug. 10, with competition starting Aug. 13, according to the release. Boys golf had previously been given the go-ahead to start practice on Aug. 3.

In the Roaring Fork School District, girls softball and boys tennis are both combined teams hosted by Basalt High School, while boys golf is offered at both Glenwood Springs and Basalt.

However, one question is how sports would be handled during the initial distance-learning phase to start the school year for the Roaring Fork Schools.

According to the district’s back-to-school plan announced last week, “We currently are following a phased re-opening of athletics and activities and await CHSAA guidelines to assess the viability of hosting sports in the fall. While we are in a distance learning phase, there will not be any school-sponsored activities or trips.”

“What we don’t know yet is how CHSAA allowing sports to proceed interacts with local restrictions,” Roaring Fork Schools Superintendent Rob Stein said during a special Wednesday school board meeting. “We are hoping to have more clarity in the next few days.”

In Garfield Re-2, Rifle High plays host to the district softball team and boys golf is offered at both Rifle and Coal Ridge high schools. The district does not offer boys tennis. Schools in New Castle, Silt and Rifle are planning to return to in-person classroom learning Aug. 24, including organized athletics, as allowed by CHSAA.

Fall sports will have modifications to their seasons complying with current national, state and local health guidelines, according to the CHSAA release. “Any activity or sport is subject to change based upon any changes to national, state or local guidelines.”

The CHSAA office is anticipating a decision from the COVID-19 Response team on the remaining sports by the end of the week. Other fall sports include football, girls volleyball, boys soccer, cross country and spirit.

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