Notes from Thursday's CHSAA legislative council meeting in Aurora:
Basketball playoff format changes
The final two rounds of the 5A and 4A state basketball tournaments will feature a condensed -- and cheaper -- format moving forward.
The tournament will be condensed by one day, with the girls’ semifinals on Thursday, the boys’ semifinals on Friday and all four championship games on Saturday.
The move, which eliminates Wednesday's girls’ semifinals session, will save $25,000 in expenses to hold the games at the Coors Events Center in Boulder.
One Colorado Springs athletic director thought CHSAA could go further if the intention is to save on expenses and generate revenue, pointing out that locations south of Boulder would have helped draw larger crowds for the 4A finals that included Air Academy in girls and Lewis-Palmer and Sierra in boys.
While the state schedule change went through unopposed, a proposed change to 4A that would have moved it to a district format was narrowly defeated -- though there were still some alterations to the system that has been in place for the past decade (see note on the side).
Among those speaking up against a move to districts was Harrison athletic director Dave Hogan, who argued that language would have to be included in the rules to allow teams to add a game to make up for one that could potentially be lost in a district tournament.
“To eliminate a game here without making a bylaw change,” Hogan said. “I don’t think it’s a good idea.”
The proposal to move 4A basketball to districts was voted down 35-33.
No budging dates for ineligible athletes to return
An attempt to move up by two weeks the date that academically ineligible students could return in a new semester was emphatically shot down.
In defense of moving the date from its current six weeks at the start of a semester to four weeks, it was noted that such a move would promote academic improvement, increase participation and reduce the disproportionate penalty for football players (who miss 60 percent of contests) and wrestlers (who miss state).
Arguments against the proposal were many, not the least of which were the perceived attempt to bring athletes back for the postseason and the “appearance of de-emphasizing education.”
Other arguments were that four weeks – and in some cases even less time depending on when a semester begins – does not provide a large enough window for proper assessment of a student’s academic improvement to make up for the body of work over the previous semester that caused the athlete to lose eligibility.
Football calendar remains same
The current football calendar, which allows practice to begin on Monday of the seventh full week following July 1, will remain as is.
An amendment was defeated that attempted to move that date up by one week, as was a proposal to ban two-a-day padded practices.
This keeps the start date for football in line with all fall sports except for boys’ golf.
- Lewis-Palmer (which plays as a district co-op with Palmer Ridge) and Palmer will join the new 5A boys’ lacrosse classification next year – the first time the sport will split into two classes. The other area schools participating in the sport (Air Academy, Colorado Springs School, Cheyenne Mountain, Fountain Valley and St. Mary’s) will compete in 4A.
- Overall CHSAA profits were up nearly $70,000 over a year ago.
- Retired professional badminton athlete and Colorado native Kathy Zimmerman made a presentation on behalf of her sport, though no formal motions were presented to gain official CHSAA recognition. Zimmerman said she would like Colorado to be a breeding ground for the next U.S. Olympic badminton athlete and noted that the sport is easy to learn and inexpensive.
- Schools adding sports for next year: Cherry Creek (hockey), Dakota Ridge (boys’ lacrosse) and Lakewood (boys’ and girls’ lacrosse).