AURORA — Football's calendar will align with the national setup, allowing for more consistency with surrounding states, and flexibility within the state's current format.
Additionally, volleyball is heading to a bracket format, there will be a new process for adding a new sport, teams will be allowed to play an exhibition game to raise money for their program, and baseball's move to a 23-game regular season in 3A, 4A and 5A was approved.
Those were among changes made by the CHSAA Legislative Council during the first of their two annual meetings on Thursday.
For the immediate 2018 season, football's changes means that the start of practice will move up by a week, and begin on Aug. 6. Additionally, this change will build in a bye week for classes 4A through 6-man, and allow for 5A to move to a 24-team playoff — something that was also approved on Thursday.
The lead up to full contact will be as follows: two days in helmets, two days of full pads with limited contact, and one day of full pads and full contact. Scrimmages will be allowed on Aug. 16, with the first regular season games allowed on Aug. 23.
No longer will the first week of competition be known as Zero Week — the former scrimmage/contest hybrid week. Instead, it'll simply be Week 1.
Because the existing approved dates of the postseason remain in place, it leaves a bye week during the regular season for 6-man through 4A, and a bye week for the top eight seeds in the 5A football playoffs while seeds Nos. 9-24 play in the first round.
Elsewhere in football:
- 2A and 3A will play their championship games at a neutral site.
- The proposed league alignments were all approved and are now final.
- As noted above, 5A is moving from a 16-team playoff to a 24-team playoff.
All five classes of the state volleyball tournament, held annually at the Denver Coliseum, will change from pool play to a bracket starting this fall.
The bracket format will be a 12-team Olympic crossover, meaning it will be double-elimination up until the semifinals, where the tournament will change to a single-elimination.
"We are really excited to be moving in this direction," said CHSAA assistant commissioner Bethany Brookens said following the volleyball committee meeting last November.
New process for adding activities and sports
The process for adding a new sport or activity — something that was in the spotlight last January with boys volleyball — has been overhauled.
Now, the process will be as follows:
- The Board of Directors must approve the new activity for a piloting process, while taking into account things like "longevity and history of the activity, support from the activity's governing body, ability to host a coach's clinic on skills and safety (sports only)," and "adequate number of officials (sports only)." The pilot program must last at least one year. New activities can ask for a pilot program from the Board at any point.
- The new activity must have support from the Classification and League Organizing Committee, the Sports Medicine Committee, the Equity Committee, the and Board of Directors before the Legislative Council can vote on it.
The new bylaw additions also outlines step-by-step what each new activity should be doing, and when.
It seems likely that boys volleyball and girls wrestling will approach the Board to begin the piloting process. Both sports have expressed interest.
Foundation Showcase creates exhibitions to raise money
A new bylaw which allows teams to participate in a "Foundation Benefit Contest" beyond the game limits was approved.
This will allow schools the opportunity to schedule exhibition games where they charge admission, keep score and raise money for their programs or a cause.
These games will not have any impact on postseason/playoff considerations.
- Here's a full breakdown of baseball's increase to 23 games in 5A, 4A and 3A.
- The Technology Committee gave a report on their recommendation with the RPI.
- Seven new schools were approved for initial membership: DSST-Byers, KIPP Northeast, Loveland Classical, Riverdale Ridge, Strive Prep Rise, Strive Prep Smart, Thomas MacLaren. This gives CHSAA 358 member schools.
- Stargate, Golden View Academy and Victory Prep Academy were approved as full members.
- The cross country proposal to score four of the six runners at the 2A state meet was amended, so 2A will remain with three scoring runners.
- Field hockey officially changed its OT procedure for the playoffs. Now, games will play 11 on 11 in the first OT. If still tied, they will play 7 on 7 in a second OT. If the game remains tied, they will go to a shootout.
- 3A girls soccer's postseason field will expand from 24 to 32 teams in 2019.
- New CHSAA Board members to start in 2018-19: Luke DeWolfe, Steamboat Springs; Chase McBride, Niwot; Obafemi Alao, DSST-Green Valley Ranch; Don Steiner, Evangelical Christian.