After announcing Wednesday night that high school football will happen in the fall in Colorado, the Colorado High School Activities Association announced some new updates to the season Thursday afternoon.
According to a release, it is up to each specific school to decide whether they will play in Season A (fall) or Season C (spring) and they can only play in one season. Schools have until Monday, Sept. 21, at 8 a.m. to make their decisions.
Each season will be structured the same and there will be a champion named in each season, according to CHSAA. The regular season will be a 6 plus 1 hybrid season meaning teams that make the playoffs will play the seventh game as a playoff game. Teams that do not make the playoffs can schedule the seventh game with another non-playoff team.
The playoffs will also feature an 8-team bracket by division, which is set and seeded by the CHSAA Seeding Index. Team schedules will be built out by CHSAA for all schools "due to the short amount of time" before the start of the season.
Season A dates:
- Start of practice: Sept. 24
- First game: Oct. 8
- Round 1 of playoffs: Nov. 21
- Semifinals: Nov. 28
- Championships: Dec. 5
Season C dates:
- Start of practice: Feb. 25
- First game: March 11
- Round 1 of playoffs: April 24
- Semifinals: May 1
- Championships: May 8
CHSAA announced that fans will be allowed at the game, in a limited capacity. On game days, the team box will be extended to the 10-yard line for each sideline, and there will be no shared water, locker room use (pre or post-game or during half time) or a coin toss.
CHSAA’s Board of Directors voted 12-3 to approve Gov. Jared Polis' variance for the fall sports season, which will include football, for those schools who wish to play now and not in the spring.
“We have worked closely with CHSAA to approve their request, issue guidelines and assist in creating a process that supports a return to football, field hockey and cheer,” Polis said. “If the CHSAA board decides to add these sports to their fall calendars, it will be up to local school districts, administrators and parents to choose what is right for their communities. The state has approved these requests in order to empower all schools to make the choice that is right for them and their student-athletes.”
The Colorado Department of Public Health and Safety sent a letter to CHSAA outlining the guidelines around how schools and communities can offer these sports in as safe a manner as possible.
CDPHE released guidelines for organized sports to help clarify the standards required for a safe return to play for both high school and club sports alike.
If CHSAA would like to provide schools with the option to play football, field hockey, and cheer/dance in Season A (fall) with increased roster sizes, they may do so for any county that is in Protect Our Neighbors, Level 1, and Level 2, which currently includes every county in the state, pending they follow all of the required guidelines. Click here to read the requirements.
Athletic teams will be required to report and respond to cases and outbreaks under the same guidelines as schools.
Here are the schools that have made their decisions:
Fall football season:
- Pine Creek
- Banning Lewis Prep
- Pueblo schools (East, West, South, Central, County)
- Woodland Park
- Mesa Ridge
- Fountain-Fort Carson
- Air Academy
- All D11 schools
Spring football season:
- Canon City
- The Classical Academy
- Sand Creek
- St. Mary's