The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment has approved variances to allow for high school sports practices to begin Jan. 18, weeks after the department announced they would not consider variances for sports until at least Jan. 25.
Ice hockey, skiing, girls’ swimming, wrestling, basketball and competitive spirit have been approved to begin competition as early as Jan. 25.
The CDPHE’s announcement to delay the start of high school sports forced the Colorado High School Activities Association to revise its sports calendar, with a proposed start to Season B pushed to Feb. 1 and delayed the remaining sports seasons as a result. It is not immediately clear how the new start date will affect the remaining sports seasons. CHSAA has not released a new revised calendar.
According to a release sent by CHSAA on Monday afternoon, the calendar shift was a result of "collaborative negotiations" that “align with Gov. Polis’ announcement to prioritize in-person or hybrid learning models,” the release said.
"The conversations with CDPHE and the Governor's COVID Response Team to resume Season B sports have been intentional and assertive,” said CHSAA commissioner Rhonda Blanford-Green. “Though it has taken many late nights and weekends, we are thrilled that our student-athletes, member schools and local school communities have a resolution. Educationally based athletics are a vital extension of the classroom."
Virtual meetings with athletic directors to advise on the variances and implementation for each sport will begin Jan. 4, according to the release. CHSAA has not made the new variances and guidelines public at this time.