CHSAA statement on Mountain Vista basketball player

Below is a statement from CHSAA relating to the situation regarding Mountain Vista student Bailey Roby:

Update, 5:05 p.m., Jan. 30:

Bailey Roby will be permitted to play in games, so long as there is an agreement in place between both schools involved to ensure the situation on the floor remains safe for all participants. CHSAA will consider approving this participation on a game-by-game basis.

Communication on the safety of the kids is of primary importance. A plan needs to be clearly communicated on when the participation will happen, how the players will remain safe, and ensure that interference and collisions are as remote a possibility as possible. Involved officials need to be notified ahead of time, as well.

Original post:

According to the National Federation of State High School Association's basketball playing rules, specifically 3-5-1, under which the CHSAA plays:

The referee shall not permit any team member to wear equipment or apparel which, in his/her judgment, is dangerous or confusing to other players or is not appropriate.

NOTE: Each state association may, in keeping with applicable laws, authorize exceptions to the NFHS playing rules to provide reasonable accommodations to individual participants with disabilities and/or special needs, as well as those individual with unique and extenuating circumstances. The accommodations should not fundamentally alter the sport, heighten risk to the athlete/others or place opponents at a disadvantage.

The Highlands Ranch Herald did not accurately depict the decision.

When permission was requested in early January 2014, the Association had to take in the intent of Rule 3-5-1.

Considering the competitive nature of basketball, it was deemed unsafe for him to be on the court -- in the interest of his safety, as well as the safety of other players.

However, when Mountain Vista approached the Association about giving Roby an opportunity to play in a varsity contest (on Jan. 24 against Littleton) if the game situation warranted participation, CHSAA said that if both schools agreed, and they made accommodations for the safety all players involved, Roby could participate. The schools determined how they were going to maintain enough room for both the player and opponents to move safely, and they were required to notify the officials of all of those accommodations for this game.

CHSAA was told that the Littleton game might be the only opportunity that this athlete would have to participate under those restrictions, so we allowed it.

"We've been in communication with the parents on this. We talked, we had a meeting," Mountain Vista athletic director Pat McCabe said. "We had a meeting with Bailey. He understood what the situation was. In the end, the safety of Bailey is the No. 1 concern. His safety can't be a popularity issue."