AURORA | The Colorado High School Activities Association conducted business in a different way in different times last week.
Due to the constraints of in-person meetings caused by the coronavirus pandemic, the state’s governing body for prep sports and activities — which lifted its moratorium on in-person conditioning sessions Monday, leaving it up to the policies of individual school districts — conducted business with 77 decision-making member representatives from across the state online.
Here are a brief look at some of the changes among 50 items addressed by CHSAA’s Legislative Council (full breakdown):
- Ice hockey’s split into two classifications became official and will be in place in the 2020-21 season, with 20 teams comprising Class 5A and 17 more making up 4A. It followed the recommendations of the hockey committee, which used a multi-point system to divide schools. Both of the teams that include Aurora teams — Regis Jesuit and the Cherry Creek co-op team comprised of teams across Cherry Creek Schools — will be in the 5A and be paired together in the seven-team Metro Conference, one of the three in the classification.
- Seeding for the Class 5A and 4A boys and girls basketball tournaments has been unpopular in recent years because of its strict use of RPI standings. RPI will still be a seeding factor going forward, but MaxPreps rankings and CHSAANow.com’s coaches poll will also be incorporated, as they are in other CHSAA sports.
- Higher seeded teams will no longer have to go on the road to play lower seeds in the Class 5A state football playoffs. Hosting honors recently have gone to the team that had the fewest home games in the matchup or were determined by a coin flip if both teams had played the same amount of home games.
- The growth of field hockey in Colorado is now such that the organization feels an expansion of the state tournament would be a step forward. Comprised of just eight teams in the past, the tournament will include 12 teams going forward. The top six teams will get a first round bye, while six others will contest play-in games.
- The boys swimming season was wiped out along with the rest of the spring sports this year, but should have its own window to shine next year if things return to normal. Boys state swim meets typically fall at the same time as the state track meet and playoff contests in several other sports, but will be moved up a week to have a larger stage.
- The girls state golf tournament will be pushed back into June for several reasons. The tournament was lost completely this season along with the other spring sports and consisted of just one round in 2019 due to frigid weather. The change in dates — which also pushes regional qualifying tournaments into the last week of May — were made so the tournament would lessen or eliminate conflicts with advanced testing and graduation ceremonies, as well as attempt to be held in a better time for weather.
- Among newly-sanctioned sports that will debut in 2020-21, boys volleyball will be played with a single classification and girls wrestling will use the same 10 weight classes (100, 105, 111, 118, 127, 136, 147, 161, 185, 215) it has used as a pilot program.
- The number of required practices needed to compete in contact sports was cut from five to three. Football, however, remains at nine.
- The state spirit competition moves from two days to three days.
- Language and clarifications were made to several bylaws involving transfers.
Courtney Oakes is Sentinel Colorado Sports Editor. Reach him at 303-750-7555 or [email protected] Twitter: @auroraports. IG: Sentinel Prep Sports