CHSAA Moratorium Lifting

By Lindsey Smith

The Gazette – CoLAB

After the cancellation of spring sports due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Colorado High School Activities Association set a strict moratorium on high school athletics which included in-person training or practices.

However, June 1 marks the end of the CHSAA moratorium. The reins will be handed to local districts and athletic departments to determine if teams can meet in the “offseason.”

A release sent to the media Friday morning stressed that CHSAA will have no administrative oversight and responsibilities between June 1 and August, when fall sports practices are scheduled to begin.

Prior to May 11, contact between coaches and athletes were only permitted if coaches were checking on students’ well-being and mental health, according to CHSAA commissioner Rhonda Blanford-Green. Between May 11 and June 1, coaches could conduct virtual workouts to athletes, but no in-person training could occur.

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This week CHSAA sent an email with recommendations to districts as to how to best reintroduce athletics to their school community when the time comes.

“Decisions to return to coach/participant contact will need to be made with an abundance of caution and within the state guidelines,” the CHSAA guidance document states. “As much as the return to athletics and activities is invading our every thought and the external pressure from coaches and parents mounts with each passing day, we must continue to make our decisions based on the safety and well-being of all those under our care.”

The document states that all summer work must be strictly voluntary for all involved, and schools should have a “Return to Participate” safety plan approved by administrators and sent to athletes and parents prior to June 1.

The document also states that the safety plan must abide by state and federal guidelines, including gathering limitations and social distancing, and recommends health screenings prior to each session. CHSAA also provides guidelines for equipment use and recommends all athletes and coaches wear masks during sessions.

This week the National Federation for State High School Associations released a 16-page guideline to aid states in the best practices and procedures for “reopening” high school sports.

NFHS releases guidance document to help state associations reopen high school athletics

The national guideline, meant to aid state associations in producing a unique reopening plan, outlines a three-phase system in which coaches and athletes can ease into practice and competition.

All 51 state associations have canceled spring sports for the 2020 season amid the coronavirus pandemic. New York and New Jersey, two of the hardest-hit states, were the last state associations to pull the plug on spring sports, cancelling their respective seasons in the first week of May.