CHSAA creates Resocialization Task Force to examine when, and how, to resume sports and activities

CHSAA’s Resocialization task force will look into how best to get high school athletes back in their respective arenas safely. (Courier photo by Stephen Jiron).

The Colorado High School Activities Association has convened a specialized task force to discuss the return of athletics and activities. The CHSAA Resocialization Task Force will begin meeting in June, and will consist of educational leaders representing all levels of administration, classifications and state geography; CHSAA Sports Medicine Advisory members; as well as the members of the Board of Directors, and the CHSAA staff.

The purpose of the task force is to explore the many options on if, when or how, activities and athletics can resume for Colorado high schools. Commissioner Rhonda BlanfordGreen announced the purpose of the task force in an email to all schools on Thursday. She has already received an outpouring of interest of educational leaders willing to serve.

“The immediate and overwhelming response speaks volumes to amazing educational leaders across our state, who are committed to Colorado students and working with CHSAA to create this experience, knowing the challenges we will face,” said Blanford-Green. “Each and everyone that has reached out to members of our staff would elevate the discussion, so we will have another tough decision to make.”

In her email to schools, BlanfordGreen wrote: “Every single sports entity from the professionals to little league are currently focused on how to resume participant engagement within a safe environment, free of health threats and liability. If resocialization was easy, we would all be watching current events instead of re-runs of the 2004 Athens Olympics.”

She added: “My goal, and that of the CHSAA staff, is to remain laser focused on the next steps for resuming CHSAA programs in a safe, educational, environment while mitigating operational efficiencies to reduce financial stressors for our membership.”

This Resocialization Task Force will not be pressured to commit to definitive dates or timelines, but is assembled to provide guidance to the Association that is consistent with Federal and State mandates. “The term Resocialization was coined by the NCAA, I paused at first, but then I realized its overarching meaning, which is beyond just a game or a contest,” Blanford-Green said. “It’s about coming back to the culture of athletics and activities: teammates and socialization, and the support system that extends beyond. Resocialization embodies all the attributes of education-based participation that we all want and need to safely return.”

Blanford-Green will look at keeping this task force in place throughout the 2020-21 season. The group will have a clear set of questions and topics to examine beginning in June: Do students need to be fully engaged with in-person learning before the Association resumes activities and athletics? Should CHSAA consider offering some activities and athletics if Federal, state, medical and safety guidelines can be met at the local and Association level?

Should CHSAA consider moving some activities and athletics to later start dates, such as September, October, or January, and consider extending the end of the season further than the traditional activities calendar? Should CHSAA consider adjusting some activities and athletics to be conducted earlier or later than their traditional season? Should we consider online participation for some activities in place of physical activation? What safety measures will need to be in place to resume specific and/or all activities?

“Adjusting to the unimaginable impact that the pandemic has had on education and high school athletics will allow us to think outside the box and emerge as stronger leaders for students and programs across the state of Colorado,” Blanford-Green said.

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