CHSAA sets football, volleyball target dates

Seen enjoying a joke following a preseason 2018 practice, now-senior Lawrence Toledo and the rest of the 2020 Bobcat Football warriors will have to wait until Spring 2021 before resuming official practices prior to the coronavirus-postponed season.
IHS Volleycats Laci Brunson, Grace Gonzales and Harmony Reynolds show off their first volleyball letters at last year’s end-of-season awards banquet inside IHS Auditorium. All three were probable candidates to re-earn varsity positions this fall, but due to ongoing coronavirus concerns CHSAA elected to postpone play until Spring 2021.
Robert L. Ortiz | The Southern Ute Drum
Robert L. Ortiz | The Southern Ute Drum

IHS’ primary fall sports benched until ’21

Four seasons exist in a normal calendar year.

Three, however, normally cycle through each Colorado High School Activities Association year … until this year.

Due to the ongoing worldwide COVID-19 pandemic, CHSAA recently decided at long last to allow Fall 2020 sports to proceed – even if several will temporarily become springtime spectacles.

Postponed until Spring ’21 and possibly creating predicaments regarding athlete availability for one sport versus another, Ignacio High’s Season ‘A’ sports of football and girls’ volleyball will eventually begin play in late-February to early-March during Season ‘C,’ with alterations being made to each activity’s appearance.

With first practices now set to commence Feb. 22 and first games allowed to begin March 4, prep football statewide – the Bobcats included – will now play a seven-game regular-season schedule, with only eight per classification advancing to the postseason (and determined/seeded according to CHSAA Seeding Index factors such as MaxPreps ranking, Coaches’ Poll ranking, and RPI standing).

Class 1A 8-man, 1A 11-man – including Ignacio, part of the Southern Peaks Conference – and 2A crews will play their regularly-scheduled Week 4-10 contests, which would seemingly mean that in most cases non-conference games against out-of-state and/or geographically-distant in-state foes won’t be slated.

Girls’ Volleyball, meanwhile, will begin practices March 1 with competition also allowed to begin on the 4th. Teams’ seasons will be shortened to a maximum of 16 regular-season dates, with a minimum of 12 (coincidentally, the exact number of Ignacio’s matches against 2A/1A San Juan Basin League opponents in ’19) required for postseason qualification unless a waiver for COVID-19 reasons is obtained from the CHSAA Volleyball Committee.

Whether varsity, JV or C-team, all rosters will be capped at 12 players per level for both regular- and postseason play.

The season length itself will be shortened from 14 weeks (through the State Championships) to just ten (State included), with all postseason regionals reduced to 24 teams per classification. League champions will still be guaranteed entrance and the remaining teams will be determined by RPI standing.

Only the eight regional champs per classification will then qualify for State – meaning no wild-card/at-large hopefuls – which itself will be a compressed two-day, single-elimination tournament.

Season ‘C’ sports are scheduled to be concluded by May 1, with ‘D’ sports including IHS’ springtime staples of track-and-field, baseball and girls’ soccer eyeing an April 26 start date for practices and a final State Championship day of June 26.

CHSAA’s decision to rearrange its fall/winter/spring athletic itineraries into the modified A-D arrangements will unfortunately include a participation moratorium from Oct. 18, 2020, through Jan. 3, 2021, due to an anticipated late-fall spike in COVID-19 cases based on data offered the Association by state officials.

Resumption of all athletics/activities is still subject to change should any national, state or local guidelines do likewise.

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