Upper Rio Grande Schools willing to allow fall sports

DEL NORTE- The Upper Rio Grande School District (URGSD) held a special meeting Sunday night to discuss a possible change that came from the Colorado High School Sports and Activities Association (CHSAA) on whether or not Colorado schools will be allowed to play fall sports and whether or not the school would be willing to allow fall sports to take place.

The URGSD Board of Education listened to an update from Superintendent Chris Burr who stated that earlier this year, Colorado Governor Jared Polis and CHSAA announced that fall sports would not be allowed to take place due to COVID-19 restrictions. Then, according to The Associated Press and the most recent news conference held by Polis last week, it was later stated that fall sports could potentially be allowed to take place.

Schools throughout the Valley have been conducting some fall sports, like cross-country regardless of the state mandates but URGSD opted to cancel all fall sports to adhere to the governor’s order. Burr explained that URGSD Athletic Director Richie Madrid was contacted via email by CHSAA who sent a survey asking whether or not the district would be capable and willing to hold fall sports this year.

“We were notified in early September that sports like football, volleyball and other sports were being postponed by CHSAA. At that time, the information we got from CHSAA was that the Governor would not allow fall sports to go forward. We were told at that time, (and I’d like to point out that we had no prior information before that time,) CHSAA had only sent a list of sports ranked by danger of contracting COVID-19 and nothing else. Football was on the list because it is a contact sport and believe it or not, cross-country was on the high-risk list as well,” stated Burr.

Burr continued to explain that Polis stated during his most recent news conference that he would like nothing more than to see fall sports take place. It was shortly after this statement that URGSD received the email from CHSAA along with the survey inquiring if the school would be able to conduct fall sports.

Burr left the decision up to the board on how they wanted to respond to the survey, stating that he felt very strongly that the students needed fall sports especially during this time but that if CHSAA were to allow football and not a female sport like volleyball, they would opt out and choose to wait until all student athletes could participate in one sport or another.

The board voted unanimously after a brief conversation about the risks of allowing fall sports and chose to respond to CHSAA that they would be capable and willing to conduct fall sports. The school district will wait to hear more from CHSAA before moving forward.


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