After meeting with the Sports Medicine Advisory Committee on Monday evening and coming to a group consensus, CHSAA commissioner Rhonda Blanford-Green announced the cancelation of the 2020 spring sports season in a letter to CHSAA member schools on Tuesday.
“We have proceeded with cautious optimism, holding on to a thread of hope that the spring season would be able to realistically resume, knowing that the health and safety of our sports communities would dictate our course of action. It was our hope to be able to create the memories because we understood what it meant to our high school communities — especially seniors — statewide,” her letter states.
“Around the nation, more than 30 other state associations have made the difficult decision to cancel their spring season. We hoped that Colorado medical and health data would provide reassurances that we could go in a different direction. Unfortunately that will not be the case. The spring 2020 season is cancelled due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic which is affecting communities across the world.
“It would be impractical and irresponsible for the association to move forward with a spring season in the next weeks or even the summer months.”
Blanford-Green noted since March, CHSAA has sought advice from medical professionals, state leaders, and facility managers at the local and state levels.
On Monday, Gov. Jared Polis announced the “Safer at Home” guidelines, which included the cancellation of in-person learning for the remainder of the school year and limited social gatherings to 10 people or less. She noted the decision to cancel the spring season aligned with the new guidelines.
“It’s unfortunate as it gets, but you know it’s not a local thing. It’s a state thing, it’s a world thing, it’s bigger than high school baseball,” said Landon Wareham, head baseball coach at Montrose High School. “That doesn’t take away from the sting of it, but it’s the condition that we’re in right now.”
Regular season competition, performances, and festivals are all cancelled until June 1, the end of the 2020 season. After June 1, CHSAA will not sanction or conduct events. Those decisions — student and coach contact, building usage, virtual workouts, virtual tryouts — are to be made at the local level.
The CHSAA Board of Directors and Sports Medicine Advisory Committee recommended that federal and state guidelines continue to be followed after June 1, with Blanford-Green stating, “We continue to maintain that public safety and monitoring of data points must take precedence over the desire to conduct activity and athletic practices, camps, scrimmages or events.”
The cancellation signifies the end of a journey for many spring senior athletes who lose the chance to suit up for one last game.
“It’s a tough draw for sure, but in the grand scheme of things, there’s a lot worse things that happen in life,” Wareham said. “The lesson in it would be don’t take things for granted. It can be taken away from you just like that. Just like what happened this year. That should be a message to motivate you and you need to be working it at all times, grinding at every opportunity that you have because as individuals and humans we have the tendency to look down the road and think we have all this time, we can do it next year, next week, and sometimes we just don’t.”
Blanford-Green thanked and applauded the 2020 spring senior athletes.
“Our hats are off to the many seniors that have shown maturity and resolve as their culminating year of high school has been impacted beyond activities and athletics due to this worldwide COVID-19 pandemic. The Class of 2020 will not be forgotten,” Blanford-Green wrote.
CHSAA hopes to conduct a normal fall season, and are focused on contingency plans, if needed, for the fall season and beyond.