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Christian Murdock/The GazetteA small crowd watches the 3A boys quarterfinals between Vanguard and Sterling March 12 at the University of Denver. CHSAA had banned all spectators from the tournament because of the coronavirus but later in the evening allowed each player to invite four people to attend their basketball games.

As the 2020 football season comes to an end in the midst of a surge of COVID-19 cases in Colorado, the focus for high school sports fans across the state will soon shift to Season B.

As cases continue to rise, the Colorado High School Activities Association waits for a response from state health officials on variance requests for proposed Season B sports, which includes basketball, ice hockey, girls’ swimming and wrestling.

According to CHSAA commissioner Rhonda Blanford-Green, the association submitted variances to state officials a month ago, but understands that the state is in a much different position in regard to positivity rate.

“We absolutely understand that much has changed since those variances have been submitted to the state office,” Blanford-Green said Tuesday during the state football championship press conference. “So we are flexible and we are absolutely understanding if what we submitted a month ago doesn’t fit within the current red level guidance and wait to see where we land in those conversations now that the landscape and the resurgence has changed since those were put on the table.”

Blanford-Green said she “anticipates an answer soon.”

According to the revised 2020-21 sports calendar released in August, Season B is scheduled to begin practice Jan. 4, 2021, with the first contest allotted Jan. 7.

As of Dec. 1, 25 Colorado counties are under level red restrictions, and an additional 21 orange level counties in mitigation to stop the spread.

“Our No. 1 challenge is almost every county in the state of Colorado is in red, and if you read the guidance it pretty much prohibits everybody from having any sort of sport-type practices or competitions,” Blanford-Green said.

“A month, or a month and a half ago, we were in a very different place. But there is an understanding and mindfulness by the members of our staff to allow our state health officials to guide us in what the next steps will be for Season B.”

Contact the writer: lindsey.smith@gazette.com

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