CHSAA adds girls flag football, shot clock in basketball

The Colorado High School Activities Association (CHSAA) made two big changes to its athletic offerings in upcoming years.

The CHSAA Legislative Council approved the addition of girls’ flag football as a sanctioned sport and decided to add a shot clock to both girls’ and boys’ varsity basketball. Girls flag football will become the 33rd sport sanctioned by CHSAA and the 18th sanctioned sport for girls in Colorado. It will join the fall sports lineup, with the first state champion being crowned in the fall of 2024.

chsaaDepending on the number of schools that decide to have a team, there could be multiple classifications for the first year of girls’ flag football.

The shot clock will not be implemented until the 2026-27 season.

A recent story from The Pueblo Chieftain spoke with CHSAA administrators and coaches to get their reaction to the news. Below is an excerpt from the Pueblo Chieftain story.

“It’s a great day for our female athletes in the state of Colorado,” said Larry Bull, the district athletic director (DAD) for Cherry Creek Schools, who has been instrumental alongside Patrick Simpson, DAD for Jeffco Public Schools; John Andrew, retired administrator for Denver Public Schools (DPS); Kevin Bendjy, current DAD for DPS; and the Denver Broncos, in the piloting of girls flag football in Colorado.

“The girls that have participated in flag football have worked extremely hard and have done a phenomenal job. It’s an amazing accomplishment that the state has supported these young female athletes,” Bull said.

“Thrilled doesn’t even begin to cover it,” CHSAA Commissioner Mike Krueger said about the council voting to sanction girls’ flag football. “This isn’t just about the game; it’s about empowerment, teamwork, and breaking barriers. By embracing this sport, we’re not only fostering athleticism, but we’re remaining among the nation’s leaders in providing opportunities for female athletes to participate.”

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“This vote means that Colorado basketball is taking the next step forward with the states around us,” said Rob Johnson, the Chaparral athletic director who was representing the Colorado Athletic Directors Association (CADA) at the meeting. “This will change the way the game’s being played and it should improve the game, our athletes, and our coaches. Everything should be improving, and that’s exciting.”

“As a fan, it will add excitement to the game because it adds another element to it,” Ward said. “CHSAA did the right thing by giving the schools time to implement this change. I think it will be a positive change for high school basketball. It makes it more like the college and professional level of basketball.”

To read the full story from The Pueblo Chieftain, click here.