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New CHSAA ice hockey season slated to begin in January

By Paul Patane, SportsEngine, 08/05/20, 1:15PM MDT

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Hub exclusive: The Colorado High School Activities Association unveiled its new athletics and activities calendar on Aug. 4. In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the league has implemented a fourth season for prep sports, with ice hockey scheduled to begin Jan. 4.

CHSAA announced a modified prep sports calendar for the 2020-21 school year amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

CHSAA announced a modified prep sports calendar for the 2020-21 school year amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Colorado High School Activities Association (CHSAA) unveiled its 2020-21 prep sports calendar on Aug. 4, with modifications and an extra season built in to help the league take precautions related to the COVID-19 pandemic as more athletes look to soon resume sports activities. Under the new plan, the league’s ice hockey season is tentatively scheduled to begin on Jan. 4.

Instead of the normal three-season prep sports schedule, CHSAA has divided athletic schedules for 2020-21 into four seasons — A, B, C and D — with ice hockey taking place in the B season, along with basketball, skiing, wrestling, girls’ swimming, and competitive and sideline spirit. 

Practice for CHSAA ice hockey teams is allowed to commence on Jan. 4 with the first games being played no earlier than Jan. 7. The state championship, or how a state tournament may look, has yet to be unveiled. With the abbreviated season, teams will be allowed to play no more than 13 games. The season is subject to end on March 6, which is five days after the C season is slated to begin.

Each of the four sports seasons is meant to run a total of approximately seven weeks. In addition to having a shortened regular season, the postseason will also be shorter and the amount of state qualifiers will be reduced.

The calendar was announced following months of planning and preparation between CHSAA organizers, the CHSAA Resocialization Task Force, Colorado’s COVID-19 response team, the governor’s office, the Sports Medicine Advisory Committee (SMAC) and the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment. Given data indicates there is likely to be a resurgence of COVID-19 cases beginning late fall, CHSAA has implemented a participation moratorium, which runs from Oct. 18 to Jan. 3, as a precaution.

Despite the extensive planning, CHSAA’s athletics calendar is subject to change, as the resumption of sports is tentative based on updated national, state and local guidelines in response to the novel coronavirus pandemic.

Key details regarding specific modifications to each respective sport's season, and practice and game requirements, will be communicated later this week, according to CHSAA officials.

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