CHSAA to require masks worn on-court for basketball season and spirit, among other Season B regulations |

CHSAA to require masks worn on-court for basketball season and spirit, among other Season B regulations

The Moffat County High School spirit squad performs a halftime dance routine during basketball's games against Middle Park in February 2020. (Andy Bockelman / Craig Press File)

Among new regulations the Colorado High School Activities Association announced last week for Season B sports is the requirement to wear masks in basketball, making it a hot-button topic in Moffat County.

In addition to regulations for basketball, CHSAA also announced regulations for Season B sports spirit, girls swimming and diving, and wrestling.

The mask regulation for basketball is not something that Moffat County boys basketball coach Steve Maneotis agrees with.

“I’m watching these kids struggle to breath, complaining they’re out of breath, lungs burning, let alone depth perception, safety concerns,” Maneotis said. “I think there is a whole ‘nother side of the discussion when it comes to mask, but it’s part of the protocol that we have to adhere to, to play.”

CHSAA’s additional regulations for basketball are that there will be 14 game regular season for varsity, and 12 games for junior varsity.

The players will only be allowed to play 76 quarters this season outside of overtime and postseason games. If the Moffat County Bulldogs make the state tournament, they will be playing in a 24-team tournament. In order to play in the state tournament, teams must play a minimum of 7 games.

The limited number of games and quarters doesn’t effect Moffat County Basketball since they are only playing 14 games this season. As a result Maneotis is not concerned with limiting his player’s playing time.

“Well, when you boil that down to 14 games, that really doesn’t concern me, you know, because if your varsity players have that many quarters and it’s only 14 games because that doesn’t go into tournament play, the quarters don’t concern me. We’ve got a lot of players; we’ve got depth,” Maneotis said.

The regulations for spirit are different than the rest of the sports, with cheerleaders cheering on their schools, “without doing anything participatory until the regular season begins on Jan. 18.” One of the things that hurts the Bulldogs cheer squad the most is that CHSAA encourages teams to work in individual pods in order to reduce the chance of a spread. Spirit, much like basketball, also has to wear a mask while competing.

That said, the spirit team cheered in Season A, so that time has allowed for the cheerleaders to adjust to wearing masks. They have to adjust more now though, now that firm regulations are in place for mask wearing, something that wasn’t as set in stone during football season.

“We were outside and still wearing them; they would remove them so that they could do their cheers,” Boulware said. “Now we know we have to wear them at all times, that just pushes my girls to really raise their voice perceptions for everybody to hear and will give them that much more practice, because the only thing isn’t just being loud but being understandable so our crowd can engage with us, so that just gives them kind of more practice with it by having to practice with wearing that mask.”

Boulware did say that the team received state approval to work together as a full team, but that they are waiting on Moffat County High School Athletic Director Jeremy Cheuvrnot’s final approval.

“…We do depend on formation and having the whole team there,” Boulware said. “CHSAA has given us the ok because the governor has given the ok, but again that does come down to local [leaders,] their regulations and stuff.”

The cheer team at MCHS has to maintain social distancing while cheering at games, something that they have been doing since Season A, according to Boulware. While other sports have had their postseason changed, CHSAA has not changed the spirit state tournament at this time.

One of the sports that has the most regulations from CHSAA is Girls’ Swimming and Diving. The teams have a maximum of seven meets, against only teams in their league. After practice starts on Jan. 18, meets will start on Jan. 25 and end on March 6, with the state tournament running from March 11-13.

According to CHSAA, teams can only submit four swimmers per event and at the end of every event, the pool will be cleared for the next group to come in to attempt to socially distance the athletes.

As a result of the swim team being held to only 7 meets this season, girls swimming coach Melany Neton has scheduled a virtual meet to add one more to their schedule. In the virtual meet, they will face Durango and Pagosa Springs. Neton is the organizer of the event and she will tabulate all the scores after the event.

“The host team, which is us, will put out the template and the invitation for the meet and then the two teams that will be joining us in Durango and Pagosa will put their stuff into the template and send it to me and I will combine all of our events and they will start the meet at each location with our own officials and timers,” Neton said. “We’ll start our meet at 5 p.m. and then after the meet is done, each team will send their results to me, and then I will combine the results and get overall results out to each team.”

The Moffat County Bulldogs wrestling team will have to deal with some challenges this season as well.

The team can only compete in 20 dual meets in the regular season ahead of a two-day regional tournament. The regional tournament will have a 16-person bracket and have seven weight classes on the first day and seven more on the second day.

Additionally, CHSAA says that the state tournament will only be one day and will be an 8-person bracket. The new postseason format is something that MCHS wrestling coach Tyler Seislove is not used to, so he doesn’t know what kind of challenges that will present his team.

“This isn’t a format that I’ve ever seen before, I’d imagine the two days at regionals is just going to be [that] you’re going to have the lower weights there one day and the heavier weights there the next day,” Seislove said. “The big thing with the two day tournament is that the whole team won’t be able to be there too, to support us wrestle, versus all the guys that make it to states will be there and support each other throughout the tournament.”

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