DENVER – The Colorado High School Activities Association changed the rules for Sunday contact between coaches and student-athletes Jan. 24.
The association’s legislative council, the decision-making arm for CHSAA, voted to keep the Sunday no-contact rule in place during a team’s season, defined as the start of official practice through the state tournament.
The original rule was in place during a given school year. The switch allows high-school coaches to be in touch with their athletes during club-level contests but only after their seasons end.
Staff notes said many high-school coaches are coaching club sports where a lot of their players – and others – play Sundays. In addition, athletes and coaches can be in the same place when college coaches are in attendance and potential scholarships are in the discussion.
Brendan Carlucci, the athletic director for Poudre Schools in Fort Collins, said the state needs more quality coaches.
“We’ll be on the verge of hiring someone, but then they say they aren’t willing to give up coaching six Sunday tournaments,” he told the council. “We are putting less talented coaches in front of kids. Our student-athletes deserve the very best.”
“We need to get the most qualified coaches in front of our kids,” added Lakewood’s athletic director, Mike Hughes.
There were no dissenting comments, nor were there any dissenting thoughts in CHSAA’s staff notes.
“This doesn’t lead to Sunday games,” Carlucci told the council. “We need to put the very best coaches in front of our kids. This is hampering us.”
The new rule takes effect July 1. There is no expected financial impact.
The council also turned down a request to eliminate overtime periods in regular-season soccer matches. It needed a two-thirds vote to pass, and 81 percent of those casting ballots voted no.
Arrupe Jesuit High School’s assistant principal for student services, Mike Lovinguth, the chairman of the state’s soccer committee, outlined some reasons in staff notes to request the change. It aligns with the NCAA, and the state’s high-school soccer officials association agreed.
“The committee felt that by eliminating overtime in the regular season, officials would have the ability to accept back-to-back games at different locations, knowing that there will not be a situation where overtime would delay the time they could leave one venue and arrive at another,” the report said. “With a 10 percent decrease in the overall number of officials in 2022, this was an attractive solution to making officials available for multiple games on the same day. Additionally, lower-level games that follow a varsity game where lights are not available often have their game time cut short when overtime is played.”
Broomfield High School athletic director Steve Shelton thought the proposal would hurt the Northern League because it’s a competitive league.
“Kids need to prepare for performances at state,” he told the council. “In a league like ours, games are going to end up in multiple ties, which creates challenges for the RPI (the Ratings Performance Index, one of the factors in considering which teams advance to the state playoffs).”