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Proposal to shorten basketball season passes, then rejected at CHSAA meeting

Proposal to shorten basketball season passes, then rejected at CHSAA meeting
Proposal to shorten basketball season passes, then rejected at CHSAA meeting

AURORA — For an issue that, ultimately, proved to be much ado about nothing, there certainly was a fair amount of drama involved.

The biggest news that emerged from the Colorado High School Activities Association Legislative Council meeting on Thursday was that the 23-game regular-season schedule in Class 5A and 4A basketball will remain intact.

At least for now.

The measure to reduce 4A and 5A basketball schedules to 19 games, proposed jointly by the 4A Northern League and 4A Tri-Valley League, initially was passed 40-27 in a vote by the legislative council. However, after a break in the proceedings, the proposal was revisited after the realization that the reduction of games would go into effect next season.

The next school year will be the second year of the current classification cycle. With a majority of schools locked into two-year scheduling contracts, it became clear instilling such a drastic change next season was a logistical impossibility. Put up for vote a second time, the measure was defeated 69-2.

That, however, certainly doesn’t mean it’s the end of the debate. The proposal will be resubmitted with an eye on the 2014-15 school year, and if the original vote is any indication, the idea has traction.

“We’ll talk about it at our next meeting and go from there. And probably re-enter it again to go into effect for 2014,” Longmont athletic director Andrea Tribelhorn said. “I think we’re still pretty firm as far as the Northern goes and the Tri-Valley, and why we introduced it.

“I understand coaches want more and more games. I get that. I was a coach. But at some point you have to look at the bigger picture. At a lot of our schools, we expect kids to be three-sport athletes. And when you continually run into each other’s seasons, that makes it hard.”

While the measure originally passed, it did so by a narrow margin. The momentary tabling of the proposal will give opponents, such as Fairview boys basketball coach and athletic director Frank Lee, more time to examine the issue.

“We worked really hard when I was on the legislative council, five or six years ago, to get to 23 (games),” Lee said. “I know if it goes to 19, it will never go back. I’m not so sure it still won’t pass later on. It would have been really tough in the middle of a cycle.

“Independently, I’m very much opposed to going back to 19. Obviously there are some people that feel differently. For those of us who want it at 23, we have to work at that so it stays there, and yet entertain why some people are so adamant about going to 19.

Other topics of note from Thursday’s legislative session:

— The format for the Class 5A state football tournament will remain the same. A proposal was forwarded to allow the higher-seeded team to host in each round but, with vehement opposition from representatives from the Western Slope, the issue was rejected. Currently the higher-seeded team hosts in the first round, with each subsequent host determined by which team has hosted the fewest playoff games (If both have hosted the same number of games, the higher seed hosts).

— The Class 3A state football final no longer will be held at a neutral stadium, and instead will be hosted by the higher-seeded finalist. Silver Creek, which claimed its first 3A title this past season at Legacy Stadium in southwest Aurora, would have had to travel to Rifle for the championship game. A likely preseason favorite again next season, the Raptors can aim for a potential title game at Everly-Montgomery Field.

— A proposal to increase the softball schedule from 19 games to 23 games was defeated.

— A proposal classifying as athletically-motivated any transfer in which a student follows a club or school coach to a new school passed.

— Longmont’s Twin Peaks Charter Academy was formally accepted as a CHSAA member. Athletic Director Jeremy Hamlin said the school likely will be a Class 2A program next school year while fielding teams in boys and girls basketball, boys and girls cross country, boys and girls track and field, volleyball, and boys soccer.

Follow Pat on Twitter: @prooney07