Days ago the Colorado High School Activities Association provided a long-awaited answer about the fate of fall sports, and Thursday CHSAA released sport-specific modifications as the state navigates high school sports through the coronavirus pandemic.
Most changes outline contest limits, roster restrictions and new post-season structures for each sport in their new "season" as announced by CHSAA on Tuesday. Following a lengthy compromise and approval from state health officials, including Gov. Jared Polis, CHSAA announced it will be splitting its 26 sports into four seasons, most notably moving "contact" fall sports, including football, volleyball and boys’ soccer to a new "Season C" beginning in early March.
Season A, featuring the only fall sports approved by state health officials — boys golf, boys tennis, softball and cross country — will be in full swing next week. Boys golf, which will not face any changes to its season structure, held its first competition Thursday, while boys tennis, softball and cross country may begin contests next week.
Cross country will see strict restrictions on the number of athletes competing in meets, limiting each meet up to 50 athletes per gender and will reduce the number of regular season meets from 11 to seven. Regional competition will allow 75 athletes per gender, and 100 athletes per gender will qualify for the state meet per classification.
Softball will have a 12-player limit per roster. The 16-team state bracket will be compiled of league champions, with the remaining qualifiers seeded from the CHSAA seeding index, compiled of scores from the RPI, coaches poll and MaxPreps.
Boys tennis will reduce its number of regular-season matches by 25% and will move to a single-elimination format for both regional and state tournaments. Only the winners and runners up at regionals will qualify for state.
In Season C, volleyball, football and boys soccer are among sports with the biggest change in season structure, specifically a large reduction in post-season qualifiers.
Volleyball will alter its post-season format to a single-elimination bracket, which has been reduced from 12 to eight teams. Boys volleyball, which will be competing in its first season as an official CHSAA-sanctioned sport, will play in Season D with the same restrictions.
Football will be allowed seven regular season contests, with eight teams qualifying for the postseason in each classification. Qualifying teams and seeds will be selected based on the CHSAA seeding index, a combination of the RPI, coaches poll and MaxPreps.
The postseason field for boys soccer was cut in half for 4A and 5A from 32 to 16 teams, and eight teams will qualify in 2A. Girls soccer, which plays in Season D, will see the same changes.