Some high school sports could begin again in Colorado as soon as this summer.
At the very least, the Colorado High School Activities Association announced Friday that a return to sports, at least discussions about returning, are set to ramp up June 1.
The organization has developed a Resocialization Task Force which “will be comprised of CHSAA Sports Medicine Advisory members, educational leaders representing all levels of administration, classifications and state geography” according to an update sent out by CHSAA.
Many of the possibilities that will be discussed by the task force June 1 are still subject to federal,state and local health guidelines.
“Between June 1 and when fall sports are slated to return, schools will have the decision-making authority within state and federal guidelines to conduct coach and student physical contact,” CHSAA Commissioner Rhonda Blanford-Green said. “Federal guidelines, in terms of social distancing, will probably not be lifted, so it doesn’t matter what a school district wants to do. The state and federal guidelines are (likely) not going to allow for the ability for students or patrons to come within 6 feet of each other.”
Among the possibilities will be the start of low-risk fall sports. All decisions are reliant on federal and state guidelines, but if those are partially lifted soon, low-risk sports activity could resume as soon as June 1.
But the task force’s main priority will be putting a plan in place for the possibility of fall sports. Physical contact, which sports may or may not be allowed, guidelines for maintaining a low-risk atmosphere for athletes and even the staff increase which may be needed for each school to resume, will all be topics for discussion.
“The CHSAA commissioners, with the guidance of the task force, will look at a variety of different ways to resume sports, even if it’s done incrementally with certain sports that are low risk and then building into more high risk,” Green said. “I think we’re in a proactive mode… If we can (move forward), what does that look like for diverse sports? And what does that look like with facilities and educational relaxation of non-contact?
“I think there’s optimism that we can begin with specific sports that do fit within the federal and state guidelines for social distancing and public gatherings.”
As of now, there are no guarantees fall sports will take place on time or at all. CHSAA will still be in charge of staying within federal and state restrictions but will allow for schools to make their own decisions when the bans are lifted.
“After June 1, the decisions become local,” Green said. “I just got an email from Montrose — they have already made a decision that they’re not going to allow the contact until July 6. Jefferson County School District said they’re not going to allow it until July 30.
“There will already be diverse decisions made after June 1 on how lenient or how restricted (schools) are going to be with physical contact with coaches and students through the summer.”