The Colorado High School Activities Association announced last week that the fall softball and boys tennis seasons are a go after both sports’ return-to-play plans were approved.
Both sports will begin practice Monday as originally scheduled with competition set to begin Aug. 13. However, modifications have been issued for both softball and boys tennis, including the number of competitions and regional play.
Softball will play a 16-game regular season, concluding on Oct. 3. Each team will have a maximum of 12 players. There will be no regional tournament. The 16-team state bracket to be played on Oct. 10 at Aurora Sports Park will include league champions and non-league winners decided by the CHSAA seeding index, which includes RPI, the coaches poll and MaxPreps.
Regular-season competition in boys tennis has been reduced by 25 percent with the season running seven weeks through the state championship instead of the initial 10 weeks. Regionals will be a single-elimination tournament completed by Sept. 19 with the champion and runner-up advancing to the 4A state tournament, which will also be a single-elimination event to be held Sept. 25-26 at Pueblo City Park.
“I’m thrilled,” Conifer athletic director Eric Kragel said. “… CHSAA has worked so hard to give kids the opportunity to have the high school sports experience. It was heartbreaking in March to talk to those seniors who did not have their spring sports season. Even if this is the new normal, it’s wonderful to see sports again.”
Evergreen athletic director LeRoy Lopez was equally ecstatic.
“We’re really excited about it,” he said. “We don’t really care if its abbreviated or if it looks different, but we know that it will be different, and that’s OK. It’s just a different situation. We’ll love it and appreciate it for what it is.”
Jeffco athletic directors met last week, Lopez noted, and agreed to an eight-game league softball schedule with the remainder of each team’s schedule being filled in with non-league competition, including possible tournaments. Those schedules will be finalized in the coming week.
As for other fall sports, such as football, cross country and volleyball, among others, CHSAA hasn’t made a decision for their return-to-play plan for the fall season as of Friday afternoon as it awaits guidance from state and health officials.
“We appreciate the many state, health and educational officials doing their due diligence for the safe return of the 26 remaining (high school) activities and athletics for the 2020-21 competitive season,” CHSAA commissioner Rhonda Blandford-Green wrote on Twitter on Friday afternoon. “We patiently and respectfully await your decisions.”