Expanded fall sports schedule on the table for CHSAA, Gov. Polis

 

September 16, 2020



In a time of great uncertainty, the recent interactions between the Colorado High School Athletics Association (CHSAA) and Gov. Jared Polis have not yielded much clarity.

The rollercoaster of events began in early August when CHSAA restructured its fall sports slate; golf, softball, cross country and boys tennis were permitted while football, volleyball and boys soccer were pushed to 2021. Hope for a change in heart was minimal until Sept. 7 when it was reported that CHSAA Commissioner Rhonda Blanford-Green would be meeting with Gov. Polis and his COVID-19 Response Team to discuss a possible reconsideration.

Two days later, with high school athletes full of eager anticipation, CHSAA’s Board of Directors poured water on the fire announcing there would be no change to the schedule. Even without in-person classes, student-athletes experienced a little high school heartbreak in the form of delayed sports. All was not lost, however.


The Shakespearean epic continued on Sept. 11, with Blanford-Green changing her stance and Polis’ tweeting, “We are currently working with @CHSAA to approve variances for football and field hockey, and we will work together to develop guidelines or variances for additional sports at a later date and indoor sports when they can safely be played.”

Blanford-Green and Polis met on Sept. 11, andin a letter on Sept. 12, Blanford-Green said that “modified safety implementation plans and variance requests” were proposed to Polis’s team.

Additionally, Blanford-Green addressed the scrutiny CHSAA has received in handling the situation and possible renewed schedule.

“Much has occurred this week that has put CHSAA, as well as myself, front and center,” Blanford-Green wrote. “Parties have questioned our credibility, integrity, and honesty, even our commitment to the students of Colorado and those we serve yet they are doing so without all the facts before them.”


Blanford-Green continued to defend CHSAA and its work with state officials to resume sports. She requested an end to the “noise and finger pointing” to allow both parties to focus on the larger goal of bringing sports back.

Another component to keep in mind is the coronavirus restrictions present in the county. Football rosters typically surpass 50 players and that could be an issue if football is given the green light.

At the local level, SVVSD Athletic Director Chase McBride remains in limbo until Boulder County and CHSAA allow for an expanded fall sports slate. If restrictions loosen, McBride is in full support of a revised schedule.

“There's people that are in charge of health and safety at the state and local levels and if they say it's appropriate and safe for us to play, then we're going to offer our kids the opportunity,” McBride said. Stay tuned for further developments.

 

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