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Second-chance vote at CHSAA meeting keeps basketball season at 23 games
AURORA • For about 30 minutes Thursday at the Colorado High School Activities Association legislative council meeting, Rampart athletic director Andy Parks lamented the loss of four basketball games, starting in 2014-15, when administrators passed a proposal prohibiting any school from competing in more than 19 contests during the regular season.
In reality, the action called for the proposal to take effect next season, in the middle of the current two-year cycle, and athletic directors and officials used a scheduled break to lobby for their cause, arguing that the text was misleading.
So in a rare but not unprecedented occurrence, the voting members got a mulligan, and reversed a 40-27 decision into an overwhelming 69-2 verdict to keep basketball regular-season schedules at 23 games.
“Everyone realized it would blow up schedules, and no one wants to start breaking contracts,” said Parks, in his second year at Rampart. “We all thought it was the next cycle, which we could deal with.”
The do-over highlighted the morning at the Red Lion Hotel Denver Southeast, in which proposed bylaw changes and committee reports were considered at the first of two legislative council meetings. The next is scheduled April 18.
“Under the process and rules, when you submit a bylaw change, and it’s voted on, it goes into effect the next year, unless it’s designated differently,” CHSAA assistant commissioner Bert Borgmann said. “When they put this one in and passed it, it meant all the 4A and 5A schools would have to drop four games next year. There’s no way to drop four games uniformly, across the board, without creating lots of problems.”
The debate on schedules has been a contentious one for years, one’s point of view skewed by geography, school size and budgets. Schools in 1A through 3A built their district tournaments into their regular seasons in part to reduce late-season travel. Meanwhile, 4A and 5A, which at one time played in district tournaments, elected to move to a 23-game regular season, giving players more chances to showcase their skills.
The issue will be revisited in April.
“I’m glad they put it off, and we’re still hoping to do some politicking to keep it at 23,” Parks said. “For the 4A and 5A schools, it makes a big difference.”
Rampart, like many schools, hosts a nonconference tournament, a revenue builder and chance to play unfamiliar competition. Take away four games and that event might be the first to go.
“All that may be going away later, and that would be disappointing,” Parks said. “There’s talk about putting the district tournaments back in, but it’s nice seeing other teams. We’ll see what happens, but I appreciate the way they gave us a second vote. CHSAA was very responsive.”