By Wayne Crick
The past few weeks have been spent waiting for the Colorado High School Activities Association (CHSAA) to make a definitive decision of whether or not prep high schools in Colorado will be able to participate in fall sports for football, field hockey and sideline spirit teams. A recent rejection of variances for schools across the state has been reversed after a meeting by the CHSAA Board of Directors on Wednesday, Sept. 16. The board of directors voted to approve the variances from the governor’s COVID Response Team which will provide member schools with the local option to play field hockey, football and sideline spirit during the fall (Season A) season.
Schools not electing to play in the fall (Season A) will play the three mentioned sports in Season C. The seasons will be treated equitably and a school may not play in both seasons. This will allow local school districts to make the determination.
Wednesday night’s meeting to discuss the playing variances produced a 12-3 vote in favor of moving forward with seasons for the field hockey, football and sideline spirit teams.
According to the governor’s public announcement, the CHSAA Board of Directors empowered its member schools and school districts to determine if their teams are able to proceed with a fall season (Season A) safely under the guidelines set by the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment.
The variances approved included 50 players on the sideline for football, 25 players for field hockey with the spirit roster to be determined by CHSAA classification maximums.
Other restrictions that must be followed, per the variance:
All participants, including athletes, coaches, match officials, staff and others, must wear masks while not actively playing, even outdoors. They must also be six feet apart from non-household members on the sidelines, or while not in active play. They may not go into the spectator area.
Spirit participants must perform off the field of play, and must be at least 25 feet away from participants and spectators at all times.
If a community falls out of compliance and enters Level 3 in the Safer at Home Public Health Order 20-35, the Colorado Department of Health has said the approval will be re-evaluated and may be rescinded.
The requested variances for the remaining fall sports — gymnastics, boys soccer, spirit, girls volleyball, and unified bowling — remain under consideration by the COVID Response Team.
Further information about each season will be available from CHSAA to its member schools in a timely manner. The last knowledge of more pertinent information being disseminated indicates a follow-up in that release was to take place Thursday, Sept. 17, afternoon.
A quick phone call to the Delta County School District office and Assistant Superintendent Curt Clay confirmed all four schools within the district’s boundaries have been given a green light for both football and sideline spirit teams in the fall (Season A). More information on the additions to the fall sports agenda will be passed along as it is received.