AURORA – The state’s winter sports (ice hockey, skiing, girls swimming, wrestling boys and girls basketball and competitive spirit), now called “Season B” in the Colorado High School Activities Association’s vernacular, begin to play Monday, Jan. 25. Practice begins a week earlier.
The Colorado Department of Public Health granted CHSAA a waiver for the earlier start. The waiver allows CHSAA to do its programs in line with Gov. Jared Polis’ desire to prioritize in-person or hybrid learning models.
CHSAA put out some rules for the coming basketball season early last week. Varsity teams will play 14 regular-season games. Players have to wear masks during play. Class 3A schools will have a 24-team postseason bracket, while class 4A and 5A teams will have a 32-team draw.
Teams have to play seven games to qualify for the state playoffs, which are set for mid-March. League champions qualify automatically. The rest of the field comes from the CHSAA seeding index (rankings from MaxPreps, a coach’s poll, CHSAA’s RPI program and Packard).
Postseason play begins March 9.
Girls swimming and diving teams may have up to seven individual meets, plus a league meet. The postseason begins on March 11. Wrestling teams may have up to seven dual meets. Regionals are March 12, and the state tournament is the following week.
In a press statement, CHSAA Commissioner Rhonda Blanford-Green said her office has been “laser-focused” on a safe return of sports and activities this year.
“The conversations with CDPHE and the governor's COVID response team to resume Season B sports have been intentional and assertive,” she said. “Though it has taken many late nights and weekends, we are thrilled that our student-athletes, member schools and local school communities have a resolution. Educationally-based athletics are a vital extension of the classroom."
CHSAA officials and athletic directors and coaches were to start a series of virtual meetings on Jan. 4 to talk about each sport’s rollout.
"We're all in this together," Blanford-Green said in the statement. "Our state officials, especially CDPHE, have a responsibility to prioritize student safety. We appreciate their support and advocacy for resuming athletics and activities for the state of Colorado in 2021."
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