Legislative Council passes legislation addressing safety and statewide coaches education

April 2018 Legislative Council

(Ryan Casey/CHSAANow.com)

AURORA – At its second of two Colorado High Activities Association Legislative Council Meeting Thursday, April 26, the CHSAA’s legislative body made several significant and positive changes to its bylaws.

The CHSAA Legislative Council is the body that determines the rules for the student participants in the state of Colorado and its 70 members represent all the individual athletic conferences, along with representatives from the Colorado Association of School Boards, Colorado Athletic Directors Association and Colorado Association of Secondary School Administrators.

The agenda included consideration of six constitutional proposals, 11 administrative proposals and five sports/activities proposals, along with four administrative committee reports, two activities committee reports and seven sport committee reports.

“The core values of the Colorado High School Activities Association embody safety, competitive equity and educational outreach,” said Commissioner Rhonda Blanford-Green. “We are so proud of the work accomplished by our Board of Directors, Handbook Committee and Legislative Council to not only meet but exceed those expectations.”

“Our organization is more than playoffs and state championships. Our ultimate responsibility is to ensure participation in CHSAA activities provids an educationally-rich environment, diverse levels of resources and strong role models that will assist our student participants as they navigate their futures. Approximately 4% of high school students move on to compete at the collegiate level so the relevancy of our message and support must be intentional to be most impactful,” Blanford-Green noted.

Among the most significant actions last week was the passage of the first Sports Medicine Advisory Committee Report which established the venue-specific emergency action plans to aid schools, first responders and emergency personnel should a medical issue arise at a practice or activities contest.

“To emphasize one of the Association’s core values – safety and risk minimization – is the primary focus for the Sports Medicine Committee and the committee’s recommendations for the Venue-specific Emergency Action Plans is one way that schools can establish the focus on safety of students and those attending the games,” said Assistant Commissioner Jenn Roberts-Uhlig, the SMAC liaison. “This is a smart way for schools to take action as an initial step and in concert with the safety rules laid out in the individual sports rules book.”

Another bylaw protecting football player safety was also passed and will prohibit live hitting/tackling on kicking plays during scrimmages.

The Legislative Council also approved a First-Year Coaches Education Scenario-based training course to help bring consistent behavioral and common-sense focus to those who are coaching the state’s young participants. It will stress the importance of positive modeling and will be based in real-life experiences.

“The CHSAA Coaching Education Committee recognized a need for a standardized baseline in regard to coaching educational activities and how that differs from coaching competition-based activities,” said Assistant Commissioner Ernie Derrera, staff liaison to the coaching committee.

The course will be developed with input from CHSAA, Colorado Athletic Directors Association and the Colorado High School Coaches Association.

Another change included a revision of the transfer rule, which will create greater accountability for students transferring schools after their initial enrollment (all hardship and other exceptions remain in place). CHSAA continues to support and maintain a focus on “schools of choice,” and this bylaw does not impact the students’ right to choose their schools.

The Legislative Council voted for a change in the way schools will be classified to include more factors than simply enrollment, as well.

All the new bylaw changes and adopted committee reports can be found at www.CHSAANow.com.