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File, The Gazette

High school softball and boys’ tennis can begin practice as scheduled on Aug. 10, the Colorado High School Activities Association announced Wednesday.

The sports have been approved as a part of CHSAA’s return-to-play plan. Last week CHSAA announced boys’ golf could also begin practice as scheduled on Aug. 3. CHSAA submitted its plan for fall sports to state health officials and the COVID-19 response team in the governor’s office, and has been awaiting approval.

The announcement stated it expects a response regarding the remaining fall sports by the end of the week. The remaining sports waiting for the green light include football, volleyball, field hockey, cross country, boys’ soccer, gymnastics, spirit and unified bowling.

CHSAA said softball and boys’ tennis will have “modifications to their seasons complying with current national, state and local health guidelines,” but did not provide specific examples.

“Any activity or sport is subject to change based upon any changes to national, state or local guidelines,” the release said.

Boys’ golf can begin competition on Aug. 6. Softball and boys’ tennis can begin competition on Aug. 13. 

If CHSAA's current calendar remains unchanged, Aug. 10 will mark the start of practice for the remaining fall sports, with a regular season start date of Aug. 20. If football is approved for fall its regular season will begin on the 27th.

CHSAA announced in early June classifications of ‘risk’ regarding Colorado high school sports, and listed boys’ golf and tennis as ‘low risk’ activities, “that can be conducted with social distancing or individually with no sharing of equipment or the ability to clean the equipment between use by competitors,” according to a release.

Softball is considered a ‘moderate’ risk sport, according to the CHSAA release. The National Federation of State High School Associations also categorized softball as ‘moderate’ risk, but noted that the sport could “potentially be considered “Lower Risk” with appropriate cleaning of equipment and use of masks by participants,” according to an NFHS guidance document.

Other fall sports which CHSAA announced as ‘moderate’ risk include cross country, field hockey, gymnastics, boys’ soccer, and volleyball. Football and competitive cheer are the only fall sports considered ‘higher risk’ according to CHSAA.