Season B athletes score win as start date pushed up to Jan. 18

CHSAA announces competition will start Jan. 25 rather than Feb. 1

Erie High School’s Alyssa Barnett (No. 24) puts up a shot over Berthoud High School’s Maddie Barcewski (No. 33) during Class 4A Great 8 tournament game in Berthoud on March 6, 2020.(Matthew Jonas/Staff Photographer)

The Colorado High School Activities Association on Monday announced that Colorado Gov. Jared Polis and the state’s health department have reviewed more variance requests submitted by the organization and that a new start date of Jan. 18 has been approved for Season B sports, which include many indoor athletics.

After initially being told that Season B practices could not get started any earlier than  Jan. 25, that date is now considered the official start of competition for sports such as basketball, ice hockey, wrestling, girls swimming and competitive spirit. An additional week should allow for a couple more regular season events as well as the possibility of Seasons C and D being pushed up.

It was unclear when or if fans would be allowed to attend any events, and the CHSAA posted in a statement that it will continue to work virtually with district administrators and school athletic directors after the new year in order to implement the new guidelines and set schedules for every sport.

As an example, basketball variances will include a limit of 24 team members, plus coaches and trainers, per game in a gym at any given time. The current state guidelines restricted groups to 10 total team members (including coaches and trainers), which is one reason why the season was delayed from a proposed Jan. 4 start date to begin with.

It was reiterated that the variances and Gov. Polis’ approval was largely due to the timeline of regular in-person education set to resume in January for many districts statewide.

“For months, our office has been laser-focused on students and the safe resumption of high school sports and activities in 2021,” said CHSAA commissioner Rhonda Blanford-Green in the statement. “The conversations with CDPHE and the Governor’s COVID Response Team to resume Season B sports have been intentional and assertive. Though it has taken many late nights and weekends, we are thrilled that our student-athletes, member schools and local school communities have a resolution. Educationally-based athletics are a vital extension of the classroom.”

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