Colbert’s Prep Playbook: Scenarios for spring season after suspension extended

The spring high school sports season looks all but done. The Colorado High School Activities Association announced Wednesday it had extended its suspension of prep activities until at least April 30, keeping it in line with mandatory school closings and social distancing protocols put in place by Gov. Jared Polis.

Outside of one lone tournament by the Aspen High School girls golf team last month, the spring sports season never even got off the ground here in the upper Roaring Fork Valley before the COVID-19 pandemic swept across the state and shut it down.

A final answer on the season will likely come sooner than later. In the meantime, here are some options CHSAA might have to choose from in a spontaneous edition of my Prep Playbook column:


The only realistic option will be to cancel the season. And frankly, with the continued closures put in place by our governor, the choice may ultimately be out of CHSAA’s hands.

Saying it’s a bummer, especially for the seniors who may never compete again, is an understatement. There won’t be any more practices, any senior nights, any state tournaments.

It’s a pessimistic outlook, but it’s reality with this coronavirus taking its toll. Canceling the season also remains the right choice with human lives at stake.


Maybe, just maybe, the skies clear and life returns to normal by the beginning of May. This would give us a short window to hold a very short season. Most state tournaments are slated for mid May and beyond, so something could be figured out.

A complete regular season is out of the question here, but there could still be a way to crown a state champion or two with an incredibly abbreviated regular season. We just need a week’s worth of games to figure out some playoff scenarios, or a single track meet to determine who qualifies for the state meet.


Many have suggested we push the spring sports season into the summer when the worst is behind us. With this approach, we could still hold a mostly complete regular season and crown some champions in June or July.

Yes, this may be possible, but there may be too many hurdles to overcome. Plus, after graduation, many kids will scatter and move on with their lives. That is, if COVID-19 lets them leave their houses anytime soon. With so many summer sporting events already being called off, this all seems like wishful thinking.


Since we’re talking hypotheticals that probably won’t happen, here’s one for you. For most sports, the big issue would be the lack of a regular season, which determines who makes the postseason. Well, how about we skip the regular season and let everyone into the postseason?

We could, for example, just take all 60-plus girls soccer teams in Class 3A and plug them into one giant single-elimination tournament. Everyone gets to play at least one game this season and a champion is ultimately crowned. Seeding can be done at random, which would make for one entertaining show. No, this won’t happen, but it sure would be fun.