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Roaring Fork School District embraces state’s athletics policies

Locations: News Published

That high school sports just ain’t what they used to be would be an understatement, but nonetheless accurate under the current climate. 

Now, that the start of the semester is around the corner and students will be nestling wherever they must for distance learning they’ll need exercise outlets to keep their learning minds’ juices flowing. Therefore on Aug. 4 Colorado High School Activities Association (CHSAA) came out with its regulations for the 2020-21’ season. 

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First off, spectators should not count on seeing particular sports in the typical seasons they’re accustomed to. For instance, football, boys’ soccer and girls’ volleyball will begin in the spring rather than the fall. The first bout of sports that have been approved to commence — “Season A” — are: golf (Aug. 3), boys’ tennis (Aug. 10), softball (Aug. 10) and cross country (Aug. 12). 

The CHSAA sports calendar is broken down into four seasons: A, B, C and D. Season A will end in October. Due to the projected increase of COVID-19 cases toward the end of the year, Season B — which will include basketball and wrestling — will not begin until Jan. 4. 

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Roaring Fork School District (RFSD) produced a 14-page rule book for the upcoming “A” season, which mimics CHSAA protocols. 

Dominic Yoder, the new athletic director at Roaring Fork High School, recently moved from Michigan for the job and said, “Having the opportunity to take on an athletic administrative role in Colorado has been a lifelong dream,” of his. 

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Yoder stated that, “Over the summer we went through a three phase plan leading up to the hope of starting full team practices on Aug. 10.”  He went on, “Teams did practice a little bit but mostly in the off-season format during the summer.” However, once the CHSAA sports calendar went out on Aug. 4, it was apparent those team sports they’d been practicing for would be put on hold.

Participants will be required to wear masks when they’re sitting on the bench or not actively participating. Furthermore, there will be daily screenings and if someone is suspected of having symptoms they’ll have to quarantine for 14 days. 

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According to the RFSD rule book a, “Daily Symptom Tracker must be completed for all participants, managers and coaches,” a log of which is to be turned into the athletic director after each practice or competition. 

This year’s participation waiver includes an affirmation clause that participants and their parents understand and acknowledge the inherent risks, including that of COVID-19. 

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RFSD Superintendent Rob Stein understands some people may find it contradictory to begin school sports while academically the district will start out the year with distance learning. To that end Stein assures that both decisions are based on guidance from local and state governments and their respective health departments.  “We are eager to give our kids opportunities to resume normal activities safely such as playing outdoor sports with minimal contact and many safety protocols in place, and we hope that these early opportunities will pave the way to more in-person interaction with our students as the fall unfolds,” Stein stated.  

“I’m real optimistic about it,” said Yoder, “I don’t think anything in life right now is normal and for us to expect normalcy is not the reality; what is reality is trying to find a pathway to be successful within the new norms.” 

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