Suspension of spring sports prompts mixed reactions

COVID-19 pandemic leads to decision by statewide body


The Colorado High School Activities Association has made the tough decision to confront the COVID-19 pandemic and has suspended all spring activities and sports games and practices through April 6.

This decision was effective March 13. The situation will be monitored and evaluated with key decision-makers from around the state to determine when, or if, to resume the spring season, CHSAA said in a news release.

The decision has sparked mixed reactions.

Cherry Creek baseball coach Marc Johnson and his team were scheduled to play in a tournament this month in Arizona, but it was called off when the school district canceled all out-of-state travel.

He has no idea how to make up for three weeks of lost time in getting a team ready to play on April 6.

“That's a great question,” said Johnson. “I don't know. We will have to figure out something. The kids, they obviously want to play, but they understand. We'll see what they say April 6.

“I give CHSAA credit that they at least said you are shut off until April 6 and we will re-evaluate. A lot of these colleges, they just shut down.

“My personal feeling is the country is overreacting, but we'll see. I understand they don't want it to become something unbelievable, but it comes across like everybody should quarantine themselves. I know economically this is going to do some serious damage.”

Losing three weeks will make it tough to reschedule games.

“I'm all over the board,” said Douglas County Athletic Director Jeff Gardella when asked for a reaction. “For the kids to be starting their seasons, training and then go three weeks without training because they can't practice and then to resume any of the sports — what does that do for injuries and what does that do to our schedules? We will never be able to make up all these games that were scheduled. What does that do to playoffs, RPI (rankings) all of that stuff? It's just crazy.”

Gardella has questions about why spring sports — with all but boys swimming played outdoors — is considered exposed.

“The part I struggle with is, we go to school every day with 2,000, 3,000 kids, but we can't go out and have a baseball game in the open air with 100 fans. How is that putting our kids more at risk than going to school with 2,000, 3,000 kids every day? I get the indoor stuff where there are packed venues — but when you are outside with the natural air and not big crowds? It is what it is, and we just have to deal with it.”

The night of March 12, most school districts across the metro area, including the Douglas County School District, announced they would be having extended spring breaks, keeping students out of school for at least an additional week.

Larry Bull, athletic director for the Cherry Creek School District, applauds the CHSAA decision to wait until April 6 but says many people do not agree.

“I'm glad that it has been postponed to evaluate and see what happens,” said Bull. “I think there is a lot of unknown and I think there is a lot of information that is going to be coming. I'm glad we didn't come out and say were cancelling everything.

“With that being said, everybody has to realize that yes, we may resume or we may be done for the rest of the year. I know some people are supporting the suspension 100 percent and there are people that are really upset about it.”



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