Sunday contact rules comes back to CHSAA

By Steve Smith
Posted 1/13/09

AURORA – Contact between coaches and players on two fronts is part of the agenda facing the Colorado High School Activities Association board of control at its winter meeting. …

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Sunday contact rules comes back to CHSAA


AURORA – Contact between coaches and players on two fronts is part of the agenda facing the Colorado High School Activities Association board of control at its winter meeting.

    CHSAA’s decision-making group meets at 8:30 a.m., Thursday, Jan. 22, at the Red Lion Denver Southeast, 3200 S. Parker Road, Aurora.

    As it stands now, coaches and athletes cannot have contact – including camps – between Christmas Eve and New Year’s Day. It’s the only sports season during the school year in which such a rule exists. A proposal before the board would allow for voluntary practices from Dec. 27 to Jan. 1.

    “Leave it as is,” Frederick wrestling coach Gerry Galway said. “We all need a break from one another.”

    Brighton Collegiate High School girls basketball coach Bob Younger wanted more opportunities to practice during the holidays.

    “The stretch from the 24th to the first is a long time to let the kids get out of shape,” he said. “I don’t have a problem with a break for them to spend some time with their families.”

    “I like it the way it is,” Fort Lupton boys basketball coach John Panas said. “The kids need to spend time with family and get away from the school thing and enjoy the holidays.”

    Brighton High School girls basketball coach Traci Mescher supports the no-contact rule as is.

    “It gives players and coaches a time to travel and be with family,” she said.

    CHSAA’s agenda says supporters feel athletes can maintain skill level and cardiovascular conditioning during the holidays.

    Another reason of support is based on the number of parents who work and who want their kids involved in some sort of activity.

    Fort Lupton girls basketball coach Steve Woodruff thinks winter break is too long.

    “Some athletes will work to stay in shape. Others won’t,” he said. “It’s kind of like starting over again, trying to get players back to where they were before Christmas break.”

    Woodruff said the schools should choose what to do during the holiday break.

    “They know their programs better than anyone and can judge whether they can compete or not and whether it is what’s best for their program or not,” he said.

    “I’m fine with the rules as is,” BHS swimming coach Elizabeth Sedalnick said. “We used to have more time, and it didn’t seem to make a big difference with the team and their success. Instead it made everyone work more when we should have been taking a much-needed break.”

    Another contact question deals with a change to the Sunday no-contact rule between coaches and players regardless of season. If approved, the rule would apply to specific seasons.

    “I don’t believe in contact on Sundays,” Younger said. “There is enough pressure on coaches and students to win without making the student-athletes live it for seven days of the week. If an athlete is dedicated, they will work out on their own or with a team member on Sundays.”

    “This rule should not be touched,” Fort Lupton football coach Mike Muedeking said. “We already get to work with the kids Monday through Saturday, there is absolutely no reason to have contact with the kids on Sunday.  The kids are in high school for crying out loud, we need to let them be kids and have a life.”

    “Sundays definitely should stay off limits,” Mescher said.

    Supporters say that coaches and athletes “could continue to grow in a positive, structured environment during the offseason,” according to the CHSAA agenda.

    Supporters also think athletic directors would wind up with more potential coaches.

Panas was in favor of leaving the Sunday no-contact rule alone.

    “I like it the way it is,” he said. “I don’t think any players should be doing anything on Sunday.”

    “I think that the athletes need that time off,” Woodruff said.

    “I think it should be left alone,” Sedalnick said. “There should be some time left to the athletes.”



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