Colorado’s high school football season has been postponed to next spring because of the coronavirus.

With schools gearing up to reopen, the Colorado High School Activities Association said Tuesday that the academic year’s football games will start March 4 with a shortened seven-week schedule, down from the usual 10 weeks.

State championships are tentatively set for May 8.

Other contact sports — boys soccer, girls volleyball and field hockey — as well as gymnastics will be played next spring. Boys golf, cross country, softball and boys tennis will be held later this month through October. Boys basketball, girls swimming and wrestling season will be from January to March.

The association foresees a pause in high school play from October to January, anticipating a surge in coronavirus cases this fall. Plans can change depending on the course of the pandemic, according to association assistant commissioner Adam Bright.

“To speak to what the end of February and the month of March will require on the 4th of August is premature,” Bright said.

For most people, the coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness. The vast majority of people recover.

Gov. Jared Polis lauded CHSAA for working to find a way to allow high school sports to resume. He vowed to attend the first competition that happens in the fall season in celebration of high school sports returning.

He said the last high school sports game happened on March 12.

Polis said it’s “really an important milestone for high school athletes,” though he cautioned sports wouldn’t look like they did before the pandemic.

“There will be scheduling changes and games missed,” he said.

But Polis said high school sports’ return should be celebrated, nonetheless, because they are a “really important part of our society.”

Colorado Sun staff writer Jesse Paul contributed to this report.

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