DENVER (CBS4)– Gov. Jared Polis announced on Wednesday that the state will conditionally approve the Colorado High School Activities Association (CHSAA) request to make certain outdoor sports available this fall. Those sports would then be played in “A” season if the CHSAA board and local communities choose to continue.
These outdoor sports include soccer, hockey, cheer and dance. Schools still have the option of offering these sports in the “C” season if they so choose.
However, if a community is not compliant and more cases of coronavirus are documented to escalate to level 3 in the “Safer Home Public Health Order 20-35,” the approval will be re-evaluated. It can even be withdrawn from that community.
Last week, CHSAA again submitted proposals for football and other sports to the Polis office.
The announcement follows days of protests over CHSAA’s decision to shift the fall football season to spring amid concerns over COVID-19.
RELATED: CHSAA Votes to Keep High School’s 2020-2021 Sports Schedule
“We have worked closely with CHSAA to approve their request, issue guidelines and help create a process that will support a return to football, hockey and cheerleading,” Polis said in a statement. “If the CHSAA board decides to add these sports to their fall calendars, it will be up to the local school districts, administrators and parents to choose what is right for their communities. The state has approved these requests to allow all schools to make the choice that is right for them and their student athletes. “
The main focus is on football, typically an autumn sport. Last week, the board voted to maintain the 2020-2021 sports calendar, which was initially approved on August 4. That included the football season scheduled to start with practice sessions on February 22, 2021 and close on May 8, 2021.
CHSAA told CBS4 Wednesday night that the board was reviewing the decision of Polis’s office and voting just hours later to approve the proposal.
Additional information from Gov. Jared Polis:
The Colorado Department of Public Health and Safety (CDPHE) sent an letter to CHSAA set out the guidelines on how schools and communities can provide these sports in the safest possible way.
In addition, CDPHE has been released guidelines for organized sports, to clarify the standards required for a safe return to play for both high school and club sports.
If CHSAA wants to provide schools with the option to play football, hockey and cheer / dance in Season A with larger grid sizes, they can do so for each province in Protect Our Neighbors, Level 1 and Level 2, which currently includes every province in the state , pending that they follow all required guidelines.
The state also requires that:
- All participants, including athletes, coaches, match officials, staff and others, must wear masks while not actively playing or performing.
- All participants, including athletes, coaches, match officials, staff and others, must be 6 feet away from non-household members on the sidelines or when not actively playing.
- All participants, including athletes, coaches, match officials, staff and others, must remain off the field of play in their designated areas and must not enter spectator areas.
- All participants, including athletes, coaches, match officials, staff and others, must wear masks and observe social distance during transportation.
- Schedule restrictions set by CHSAA should not be exceeded.
- Cheer / Dance participants must follow the requirements outlined in other artist guidelines and be at least 7 meters away from spectators and players at all times.
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