By Wayne Crick
On Dec. 7, the Colorado High School Activities Association (CHSAA) announced that the season B (boys and girls basketball, boys and girls wrestling, girls swim and diving) high school sports season has been delayed three weeks, with a proposed start date of Feb. 1.
Seasons C and D, with original start dates of March 1 and April 26, are also affected with delays, with competition set to begin on March 22 and May 10.
According to the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE), a letter sent to CHSAA Commissioner Rhonda Blanford-Green indicated there will be no variances given to CHSAA for Season B with COVID-19 cases on the rise statewide.
CDPHE executive director Jill Hunsaker Ryan noted season B high school sports would operate based on the restrictions in the level of the dial in the county in which the school resides. Any school residing in a level red zone will not be authorized to participate in indoor group sports at this time.
In addition, Hunsaker Ryan noted the top goal for state officials is to support a return to in-person learning. With Season B sports being conducted mainly indoors during the colder months, there is no assurance that safe social distancing would help ensure the safety of athletes and teachers for a total return to in-person learning.
Season B practices are expected to begin on Jan. 25.
Season C (boys soccer, girls volleyball, gymnastics, football) will start practice on March 15 and Season D practice starts on May 3.
CHSAA officials have plans in place to meet again with the CDPHE and the state’s COVID-19 response team in mid-January to discuss potential Season B variances.