By Wayne Crick
The long-awaited word on the start of fall sports, and the remainder of the school year’s sports schedules for Colorado high school athletes was released on Aug. 4.
The Colorado High School Activities Association has announced its 2020-2021 interscholastic athletics and activities calendar, following months of collaboration with Gov. Jared Polis, the CHSAA Resocialization Task Force, the Sports Medicine Advisory Committee, the state’s COVID-19 Response team, the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, and the CHSAA Board of Directors and administrative staff.
“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,” said CHSAA Commissioner Rhonda Blanford-Green.
Everyone should note that the resumption of all activities and athletics are subject to change based upon any changes to national, state or local guidelines.
Due to the restrictive nature of the current state guidelines, and the ability to follow Colorado Department of Education requirements, all contact sports have been moved to a season which will commence later in the calendar, and allow for playoffs and culminating events without creating new conflicts.
The new modified calendar splits sports into four seasons, concluding in late June: A, B, C and D.
Each season is approximately seven weeks from start to finish. Sports will have their regular season competition limits reduced and the postseason for each sport will also be shortened, including the number of state qualifiers.
According to CHSAA’s announcement, 2020 fall sports will begin as originally scheduled: boys golf began practice on Aug. 3, softball and boys tennis is set to begin on Aug. 10, and cross country on Aug. 12 and will be known as Season A.
The remaining traditional fall sports are unable to be played under current state health guidelines. These sports are field hockey, football, gymnastics, boys soccer, spirit, unified bowling and girls volleyball.
All sports played this fall will be concluded by Oct. 17.
As the pandemic numbers continue to be gathered, officials anticipate a resurgence of COVID-19 cases in late fall and have inserted a participation moratorium from Oct. 18, 2020 to Jan. 3, 2021.
Sports in Season B are scheduled to begin on Jan. 4, and conclude by March 6. These sports include: basketball, ice hockey, skiing, spirit, girls swimming and wrestling.
Season C includes the following sports: field hockey, football, gymnastics, boys soccer, unified bowling and girls volleyball. These sports begin their season on March 1 and will be completed with the playing of championships by May 1.
Football will have its own starting date for practices (Feb. 22) because of the specific equipment and safety rules associated with the game. The season concludes on May 8 with the playing of state championship games.
The CHSAA’s 2020-21 calendar will conclude with Season D. Those sports include: baseball, girls golf, boys and girls lacrosse, girls soccer, girls tennis, boys swimming, track and field and boys volleyball. Practice sessions for these sports begin on April 26 and end on June 26 with the final state championship game.
If, and when, further modifications, practice requirements, game requirements and procedures are forthcoming they will be communicated in bulletins on CHSAANow.com.