Colorado schools select which sports will play ball in the fall

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COLORADO — The Governor’s office has given schools the option to move football, field hockey, and sideline spirit to the fall, after an order that postponed those seasons to the spring, due to COVID-19.

The Colorado High School Activities Association (CHSAA) requested variances for additional fall sports, but those are still being considered by the Governor’s response team.

“I think they looked at the numbers and they looked at what can be done to safely put students back on the field,” Bert Borgmann, Assistant Commissioner with CHSAA.

Originally, the athletic schedule put in place for this school year was for football, field hockey and cheer to kick off in the spring. Some schools in El Paso County, such as Harrison School District 2, are sticking to that format.

“The original plan gave our athletes the opportunity to get on a field and participate,” said Dave Hogan, Activities and Athletics Director for D2. “There were state championships there and they were there for everyone.”

But Colorado Springs School District 11 is bringing Friday night football back this fall. D11’s Athletic Director, Chris Noll, says that decision was partly based on the lessening of current restrictions.

“We just felt like we need to get the kids back to some normalcy,” said Noll. “We feel we can return safely.”

CHSAA has provided a schedule for football, field hockey, and sideline spirit, regardless of the season in which they are played.

“A champion will be crowned in both A and C seasons and, if there are some limited teams in C, there will be some different types of scheduling that will be created,” said Borgmann.

Several students and parents statewide had voiced concerns over the postponement of fall football.

“The reality of recruiting is, if you are high school senior at this point and don’t have a Division One offer, you’re not getting a Division One offer,” said Borgmann.

As for other traditional fall sports, such as boys soccer and girls volleyball, District 11 says it’s hoping the governor’s office decides in favor of the variance.

“We were disappointed. We wanted our volleyballers to have an opportunity.” said Noll.

In a written response, CDPHE said a variance was not granted for volleyball because it’s played indoors. The office also said boys soccer was not part of the variance request:

“CDPHE responded to the requests that were submitted to the agency on Saturday of this past week, which included requests for football, field hockey, cheer and dance and volleyball. CDPHE provided conditional approval for the increased rosters for all of the outdoor sports that were listed in the letter, but denied the request for variances related to indoor sports. Soccer was not one of the sports included in Saturday’s letter.”

As of this writing, Harrison, Sierra, Canon City and the Classical Academy have decided to comply with the postponed season.

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