Soccer committee recommends game minimums for 2A, and changes to officiating system

Denver Christian Fountain Valley girls soccer

(Ryan Casey/

AURORA — The soccer committee on Wednesday recommended that teams in Class 2A be required to play a minimum number of games in order to be eligible for the postseason.

That recommendation will be forwarded to the Legislative Council for a vote in April. If approved, this would go into effect in the fall of 2020 for boys, and spring of 2021 for girls.

The committee recommended that all 2A teams must play at least 12 games in order to be eligible for the bracket. In addition, 10 of those games must be against schools that belong to state associations that are members of the NFHS. In Colorado, that means schools must be CHSAA members in order to count toward the 10-game minimum.

The change was made with an eye toward ensuring that teams were playing roughly the same number of contests during the regular season, while still giving schools the flexibility to schedule as-needed in order to meet their unique financial and geographic concerns. The maximum number of contests is 15.

"The Federation school limitation was put in place because it is hard to find accurate schedules and results for some of the schools that are not Federation schools," said CHSAA assistant commissioner Ernie Derrera, who oversees soccer. "And keeping with the philosophy of CHSAA, we are trying to encourage teams to participate against other schools that have the same philosophy."

The committee opted to only make the recommendation of a game minimum in 2A because it is not an issue in 3A, 4A or 5A.

"They felt like it was really an issue for smaller programs that were more secluded from like opponents, and playing a full schedule was not an issue for the other three classifications," Derrera said.

Teams that don't reach the minimum would still have their data factored into the RPI. Only, they would not be eligible to be included in the postseason field.

Recommended change to officiating system

Grandview Mountain Vista girls soccer

(Matt Daniels/

The committee also recommended a change in the system of officiating used. Currently, CHSAA uses the double dual system of officiating, which is more commonly known as a three-whistle system. This differs from the overwhelming majority of the soccer matches played worldwide, including the high school level and above.

The recommendation is the use of the diagonal system of control, with one center referee and two assistant referees who use flags instead of whistles to make their calls. The NFHS allows for state associations to determine which system of officiating they use.

If approved, the change would go into effect with the 2019 boys season, and the 2020 girls season.

The dual system of officiating has been used by CHSAA for the past 16 seasons.

Though the diagonal system of control is preferred, this recommendation would only apply if three officials are being used at the varsity level. If schools can only schedule two officials, they can opt for the dual system.

However, if the recommendation is passed, CHSAA will use the diagonal system in all postseason matches.

Currently, all HSSO officials are required to be certified in the diagonal system, so it wouldn't be a major change for officials. It is currently used by Colorado Youth Soccer, and the United Stats Soccer Federation, as well professional and world-wide soccer.

Postseason changes

  • The committee also discussed the postseason format, and they recommend keeping the boys in the setup used this past fall, with 5A playing on a Friday night, and 2A, 3A and 4A playing on Saturday, with the 2A game being the middle game on Saturday to allow for possible travel. In order to accommodate the short turnaround for 5A, that semifinals would be moved from Wednesday to Tuesday.
  • No changes were recommended to the girls postseason, largely because of scheduling requirements when working with Dick's Sporting Goods Park and the Colorado Rapids' schedule. As a result, those games must be played on a Tuesday and Wednesday.