Unified bowling, girls wrestling and boys volleyball become sanctioned sports

2019 Legislative Council meeting

(Ryan Casey/CHSAANow.com)

DENVER — There will be three new sanctioned sports in Colorado.

Unified bowling, girls wrestling and boys volleyball were all approved in a vote by the Legislative Council during its annual meeting on Wednesday. It means each sport will begin sanctioned play during the 2020-21 season, including the first official championships.

"What an exciting chance for our Association to provide participation opportunities that speak to inclusion and our mission," said CHSAA commissioner Rhonda Blanford-Green. "We are looking forward to the first official seasons for these three sports in two years."

Unified bowling will take place in a season that straddles the fall and winter seasons. Girls wrestling will be in the winter. Boys volleyball will be in the spring.

Each sport will need to form committees, and begin the process of creating its postseason structure. It is likely that girls wrestling and boys volleyball will look similar to their gender counterparts which are already sanctioned.

Each sport went through a rigorous process which required an establishment of a pilot season. In boys volleyball's case, they have had multiple pilot seasons.

During that piloting process, each sport had to gain approval from the Classification, League Organization and Appeals Committee, the Equity Committee, the Sports Medicine Committee, and the Board of Directors. When the Board gave its support on Tuesday, that meant the sports could finally head to a vote of the membership.

The three sports will become CHSAA's first new sports since three were added in the late 1990s.

Field hockey was approved in 1996, and played its first season in 1997. Girls lacrosse was approved in 1997, and played its first season in 1998. Boys lacrosse was approved in 1998, and had its first season in 1999.