AURORA, Colo. (CBS4) – Organizers in charge of high school sports and athletics are feeling optimistic about the start of the new school year, preparing for full, traditional sports seasons to take place.

(credit: CBS)

“We have 29 athletics and activities that we are planning for,” said Colorado High School Activities Association – or CHSAA – Commissioner Rhonda Blanford-Green. “Even if we have to do some modifications due to a resurgence in COVID-19 or potentially a state shutdown, our whiteboard plan is to conduct all of those seasons.”

Blanford-Green says she doesn’t want to make changes to traditional seasons, or flip them, because CHSAA does not favor one activity over another.

“Maybe with a little bit of crossover, but not really having students make broad decisions about whether or not I can play football or run track,” Blanford-Green explained.

Blanford-Green says she’s waiting on the governor to approve a list of guidelines for schools to carry out sports and activities during the pandemic this fall. Once that list is approved, she and her staff will work on sport-specific guidelines.

Football players for Manual High School line up to begin conditioning exercises on the first day back at practice since the pandemic hit. (credit: Kati Weis, CBS4)

“The implementation of potentially social distancing, masks, sanitation, all of those things that are currently being out in place to go to the mall, are still going to be in place with athletics and activities,” Blanford-Green said.

But, will fans be able to watch? Blanford-Green says she’s asked the governor’s office to consider expanding stadium and gym capacities.

“Our request is to try to have something in writing that would allow our schools to first and foremost allow cheerleading groups and spirit groups, and then band members, into the different arenas, and then you expand it out to the crowds,” Blanford-Green said.

As for those kids hoping for a sports scholarship, things are still a little less certain.

(credit: CBS)

“We need to remember what CHSAA is… we aren’t really focused on opportunities for the student that’s moving to the next level, as much as we are just trying to make sure that our kids return to a level of normalcy, and provide levels of support for their socialization,” Blanford-Green said.

The commissioner says all of this is flexible, and subject to change depending on how the pandemic progresses.

“I think the way that we will be successful in resuming athletics and activities,” Blanford-Green said, “is to be adaptable and flexible.”

Kati Weis

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