Both state tennis tournaments postponed to next week

(Ryan Casey/CHSAANow.com)

The 5A and 4A girls tennis tournaments have been moved to next week because of rain that is forecast for this weekend. (Ryan Casey/CHSAANow.com)

AURORA — The state tournaments for both Class 5A and 4A girls tennis have been postponed to Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday of next week due to expected rain at both tournament sites this weekend.

This is the first time in the history of the tournament that the entire event will be postponed.

"This is not something we arrived at lightly, as there is much that goes into planning this tournament, both on our side of things, and from the schools' perspective," said Bethany Brookens, CHSAA assistant commissioner who oversees tennis. "After careful consideration much of this week, we decided this was the right move."

Both tournaments were originally scheduled for Thursday through Saturday, with 5A taking place at Gates Tennis Center in Denver, and 4A at Pueblo City Park. Those sites will not change, just the dates.

As the tournament begins on Monday, Sunday contact will be permitted for tennis athletes and coaches to practice and travel to tournament sites.

CHSAA officials are urging teams to change their hotel arrangements as soon as possible.

With rain already falling from the early part of the week, CHSAA officials made site visits to both Gates and Pueblo City Park on Wednesday to assess the courts, and then made the decision to move it.

Rain is in the forecast for both Denver and Pueblo this weekend. On Thursday, Friday and Saturday in Denver, there is an 80 percent chance of rain all three days, with temperatures hovering around 60 degrees. In Pueblo over the three days, the chance of rain is 50 percent on Thursday, and then 80 percent on Friday and Saturday. Rain is also in the forecast for Sunday in both areas.

It is expected to be sunny in Denver and Pueblo on Monday and Tuesday, with only a 10 percent chance of rain in both areas on Wednesday.

(Bethany Brookens/CHSAANow.com)

(Bethany Brookens/CHSAANow.com)

The idea of starting the tournaments at multiple sites on Thursday to complete as many rounds as possible before rain hits in the afternoon was discussed, but ultimately, Brookens and the rest of the CHSAA staff decided that it did not make sense with all-day rain anticipated Friday and Saturday.

"We don't want teams to have to travel (to the tournament sites) twice," Brookens said. "It is possible we would have been able to complete one round on Thursday, but then the teams would have been sitting around for two days, waiting for the rain to pass. With the change, it is our hope that teams will only have to travel once."

Additionally, Brookens added, "The tournament fields will narrow greatly on Tuesday, so the impact in terms of lost school time will be decreased at that time."

The postponement also allows the tournament to remain a three-day event. Shortening the tournament to two days was discussed, but ultimately shot down. Moving to an indoor facility was also considered.

"Playing around the clock on a limited number of indoor courts is not a practical option, nor would it be a positive experience for the players," Brookens said.

Though the change may conflict with other previously-scheduled events in high schools next week, moving the tournament was ultimately the best option, Brookens said.

"We understand and know there are other commitments scheduled for next week, such as IB and AP testing" Brookens said. "Unfortunately, the reality is that even if we started play on Thursday, we would be forced to finish the tournament next week because of the rain due this weekend. We wanted to be proactive and we apologize that we have to move these dates."