CHSAA votes to allow football to return after Gov. Polis announces new guidelines
STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — On Wednesday, the office of Gov. Jared Polis announced new guidance for organized sports. Upon reviewing the release and communicating with the governor’s office, the Colorado High School Activities Association Board of Directors voted late Wednesday to allow schools the opportunity to play fall sports such as football, field hockey and sideline cheer, beginning later this month.
“I want to thank my colleagues on the board,” said Troy Baker, the president of the Board of Directors, in a news release. “The CHSAA Board is charged to make the best decision for all kids in our state. We are a diverse state and many of our schools are faced with unique challenges that can elevate the complexity in making a decision that supports all schools and students.”
Ultimately, the decision to play will fall on the school or district whether to participate in Season A, the “traditional” fall season, or Season C, the new season designated to fall sports that were not approved for Season A.
“We have worked closely with CHSAA to approve their request, issue guidelines and assist in creating a process that supports a return to football, field hockey and cheer,” said Governor Jared Polis in the news release prior to CHSAA approval. “If the CHSAA board decides to add these sports to their fall calendars, it will be up to local school districts, administrators and parents to choose what is right for their communities. The state has approved these requests in order to empower all schools to make the choice that is right for them and their student athletes.”
The new guidelines will allow up to 50 players, per sideline, excluding coaches, referees or umpires, on the field at a time. The guidelines also request teams keep players in cohorts, ideally the same ones they maintain at school, to minimize the number of new contacts. For field hockey, the variance allows for 25 people per sideline, per game.
Everyone, including players and coaches must wear a mask when not actively playing, even outdoors, and must remain six feet apart from non-household members while on the sidelines.
As for facility management, locker room use is discouraged and sharing of any equipment, even towels or clothing, is not allowed.
The return of fall sports could be reevaluated at anytime.
The decision came after a week that featured multiple football-related announcements. The Governor and CHSAA instilled hope early last week when they shared they were open to working together to bring football back. However, on Wednesday, Sept. 9, the CHSAA Board of Directors voted to keep the 2020-21 schedule unchanged.
To reach Shelby Reardon, call 970-871-4253, email sreardon@SteamboatPilot.com or follow her on Twitter @ByShelbyReardon.
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