While Governor Polis voiced a new desire to make fall football happen, CHSAA upholds the original plan.
In a press conference on September 8, Colorado Governor Jared Polis proposed making a fall football season a reality. Colorado school districts have approached the education plan differently, some with in-person instruction, some with remote instruction, and others offering a hybrid option. For the districts that are ready, and could quickly offer a fall football program and season, Polis proposed that Colorado High School Activities Association (CHSAA) support those districts.
"We would be thrilled to work with (CHSAA) to make that happen, for the districts that are ready to go," Polis said. "I think there's some opportunity to have a fall season for those who are ready."
CHSAA Board of Directors met in response to the press conference given by Polis. The board unanimously voted to uphold the 2020-2021 plan for high school activities amid a pandemic. The statement issued September 9 was focused on, "The safety, physical and emotional well-being of Colorado student's participants must be at the forefront of every decision." In addition, CHSAA also considered return-to-learn models that have been adopted across the state, in rural and metro areas.
"The COVID-19 pandemic has presented many challenges. Specific to CHSAA activities, this has included trying to resume a traditional fall season for moderate- to high-risk contact sports. It has forced inequities when making statewide decisions for the 180,000 student-participants, 363 voluntary members schools, and 178 school districts across the state."
COVID-19 has thwarted all sorts of plans, including high school sports. On August 4, CHSAA released the 2020-2021 plan for high school activities after months of collaboration with Polis. The plan, consisting of four seasons, intentionally included all high school sports and activities. Each season would be about seven weeks with shortened championships. Season A started in August with boys golf, softball, boys tennis, and cross country.
"Our state has seen new golf, tennis, softball, and cross country teams formed statewide," said Terita Walker, an assistant principal at Denver East High School, and a member of the Board of Directors. "Once this plan was rolled out, school administrators and families began to reshape their lives around the calendar. We are moving forward knowing all of our students will have the chance to participate in 2021."
Due to state health regulations, other fall sports were moved to seasons B, C, and D, later in the school year. Because health experts are predicting a resurgence of COVID-19 in late fall, high school sports and activities will take a break from October 18 through the first of the year. Season D, the final season of the 2020-2021 school year, is planned to go into June 2021.