A step forward: CHSAA lifts in-person conditioning restrictions

The restrictions are officially lifted June 1


Colorado’s high school sports scene remains empty. Perhaps, though, not for long.

The Colorado High School Activities Association announced the end of its moratorium against in-person conditioning sessions between coaches and athletes Friday, clearing one major hurdle in its return bid amid the coronavirus pandemic.

CHSAA’s official lift on the in-person restrictions begins June 1, its release said. From there, decisions regarding the outlook on the summer months will be done at the local school district level.

“This isn’t recreational park play or a free-for-all,” CHSAA commissioner Rhonda Blanford-Green said. “Our schools will face some challenges, no different than professional and collegiate sports to resume any level of student participation.”

The announcement comes more than two months after spring sports were put on a freeze around the state and more than a month after they were officially canceled.

It falls in line with hopeful rumblings across the country pushing for the potential return to sports at some level soon.

The National Federation of State High School Associations recently released guidelines for steps in a return to high school athletics. Major League Baseball, the National Basketball Association and the National Hockey League are also currently working on a plan to resume their seasons.

“There is light at the end of the tunnel,” Blanford-Green said. “As with reopening our country and our state, taking incremental steps within the mandated and suggested guidelines will be critical in ensuring the success of transitioning from virtual to in-person.

She added: “I have strongly recommended that each school or district have a comprehensive plan in place during this transition, and that their school communities including participants, parents and especially coaches are informed of the expectations prior to physical contact or conducting in-person sessions.”

Thompson School District canceled all spring sports and activities on April 3. Boulder Valley School District did so on April 20, announcing a few hours after Colorado Gov. Jared Polis advised school districts to stick to online learning for the rest of the school year. CHSAA officially nixed sports statewide April 21.

“Our students, coaches, schools and the Association are ready to resocialize back to participation,” Blanford-Green said. “The importance of returning to education-based athletics and activities reaches beyond a contest or a perceived scholarship. It is about reconnecting our students — socially, emotionally and physically.”