CHSAA releases new schedule with drastic changes, sees football, volleyball and boys soccer move to March | AspenTimes.com
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CHSAA releases new schedule with drastic changes, sees football, volleyball and boys soccer move to March

NEW 2020-21 COMPETITION START DATES

Season A

Boys golf (Aug. 6), boys tennis (Aug. 13), softball (Aug. 13), cross country (Aug. 15)

Season B (Jan. 7)

Basketball, hockey, skiing, spirit, girls swimming, wrestling

Season C (March 4)

Football, boys soccer, volleyball

Season D (April 29)

Baseball, girls golf, boys lacrosse, girls lacrosse, girls soccer, girls tennis, track and field

The fall sports season is going to look radically different this year because of the novel coronavirus pandemic. Football, boys soccer and volleyball have all been pushed back to March as part of a revised schedule released Tuesday by the Colorado High School Activities Association.

“Everyone is going to have their opinion about it and there are going to be a lot of armchair quarterbacks on this one,” Aspen High School athletic director Martha Richards said. “But the fact of the matter is, I think they did a really good job and were very thoughtful about it. Again, we are trying to plan sports during a pandemic. There is nothing easy about that.”

After getting the go-ahead from state health officials, CHSAA has given four sports the thumbs-up to compete this fall: boys golf, boys tennis, softball and cross country. Each of those seasons will conclude by mid-October, and no sports will be played from then through the new year.

The typical winter sports — basketball, girls swimming, ice hockey, skiing and wrestling — won’t start until the first week of January.

“It’s great that we’ve come up with this plan and I hope that we can execute it and let the kids get back on the field,” Basalt High School athletic director Jason Santo said. “Ultimately that is the goal, is to get kids back involved in socialization within the proper parameters that we are placing in front of them and allowing them to play sports.”

Instead of the traditional three seasons, CHSAA has created a fourth this year to accommodate those delayed fall sports to March. After “Season A” and “Season B,” or fall and winter, spring has essentially been divided into “Season C” and “Season D.” Season C will include football, boys soccer and volleyball, while Season D will include more traditional spring sports, such as baseball, lacrosse, girls soccer, girls golf, girls tennis and track.

Season C, which includes football, is slated to begin competition March 4. Football can begin practice Feb. 22, while the rest of the sports start practice March 1. Season D can start competition April 29, with practice starting April 26.

Each season will have a shorter schedule. Football, for instance, will have a maximum of seven games during its regular season, down from the normal nine or 10, depending on classification.

“It gives us a schedule, but it doesn’t give us understanding of what the schedule means or how to implement the schedule,” Santo said. “I don’t know where we go from here. We piece it all together and we figure out what we can host and what we can do.”

Numerous hurdles remain before sports will be played in 2021. Local health officials, that being at the city or county level, have the ability to pull the plug on localized athletics. How the pandemic continues to evolve will dictate the seasons happening.

However, the four fall sports still standing seem to be full speed ahead. Boys golf officially started practice and tryouts this past Monday, while boys tennis and softball can start practice this coming Monday, Aug. 10. Cross country can start practice Aug. 12. Like the rest of the sports, Season A will see a condensed schedule. Exactly what the state championship events look like remains to be seen, although tentative dates have been made for each sport’s finale.

“We will show up at practice and we will prepare as if things will operate as we hope they will and see what happens,” AHS cross country coach Chris Keleher said. “I’m super excited for the kids that they get to compete. It’s going to be drastically modified, and that’s OK. I think CHSAA did a good job of looking at all the different scenarios. They have a lot of things to juggle and a lot of people to take care of and think about.”

acolbert@aspentimes.com


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