DENVER (KDVR) — Gov. Jared Polis on Wednesday evening gave some high school sports programs the green light to move forward this fall as long as players and coaches follow specific health guidelines.
Districts are now waiting on the Colorado High School Activities Association (CHSAA) to publish a fall sports schedule. Individual school districts need to also decide if athletes will play. Polis, allowing local control, paved the way for football, field hockey, cheer and dance to start as soon as possible.
“This has been a back-and-forth and it’s been an emotional roller coaster for these athletes,” said Rock Canyon High School parent Trent Schield.
Shield is the father of a senior football player. Mark McAllister’s son plays football at Palmer Ridge in Monument.
“We’re ready you go,” McAllister said. “The players are eager. Let’s get on the field and play some football.”
Both men have been closely following the latest developments in the push to allow sports this fall. Schools are still able push those fall programs to the spring under the governor’s latest direction.
“Running dual seasons gives everybody the option to do what they want to do,” Schield said. “I think there’s more that are leaning towards fall.”
Once a CHSAA schedule is in place, it wouldn’t take long for the Friday night lights to shine again.
“The districts and the superintendents, the athletic directors, they can move quickly,” McAllister said. “They can put a process in place to get these kids on the field.”
Polis stresses that safety guidelines need to be followed that require mask wearing and physical distancing when not actively playing. Additionally, there’s a requirement to change course — as needed— if outbreaks occur.
The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment sent a letter to CHSAA outlining how sports can be played safely.
The health department also released guidelines for organized sports that apply to both high school and club teams.
A county where COVID-19 cases are rising too quickly — defined by the state as “Level 3” on its online system — will be reevaluated and the approval to play fall sports may be rescinded there. Currently, none of Colorado’s 64 counties are in Level 3.
FOX31 requested comment from CHSAA for this story.