Overtime

Baseball finally gets much-needed longer season

Column by Jim Benton
Posted 1/30/18

First off, I have to declare that I believe most professional football, basketball and baseball seasons are too long. I’ve always complained that the baseball regular season drags on and the “dog …

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Overtime

Baseball finally gets much-needed longer season

Posted

First off, I have to declare that I believe most professional football, basketball and baseball seasons are too long.

I’ve always complained that the baseball regular season drags on and the “dog days of summer” seem endless and don’t end in August. The season should close by the middle of September so the World Series could start the first week of October.

However, I have also vowed the Colorado high school baseball season is too short and more games are needed.

Yes, that is contradictory, but high school players need additional prep games and a chance to enjoy high school rather than heading off to play club baseball.

In one of the changes adopted by the Colorado High School Activities Association’s Legislative Council on Jan. 25, baseball will be allowed to play four more games to reach a 23-game regular season schedule in Class 3A, 4A and 5A, but not until the 2019 season.

Maximum regular season games in northern states with spring weather similar to Colorado compete in between 22-25 games a season, so it was better late than never for Colorado to catch up.

In 2019 the season will be extended one week and the 3A, 4A and 5A state championships will be held the weekend after Memorial Day, and it is possible the fickle spring Colorado weather will be nice.

Now, the equity committee has recommended that the maximum number of softball games should also be increased, and that possibility still has to be addressed.

Among other changes that were approved, the start of the football season for 2018 will be moved up a week to Aug. 6 and Class 5A will have a 24-team playoff bracket instead of the 16-team format.

The additional week provides a needed bye week for 6-man through 4A teams and the top eight teams in 5A will get an off week during the first round of the playoffs.

Thankfully, the proposed new football league alignments were approved.

All five classes at the state volleyball tournament will have 12-team Olympic crossover bracket instead of pool play. That means double elimination until the semifinals, when a loss will eliminate a team.

Boys volleyball and girls wrestling have new hope of being sanctioned after the process for adding a new sport was modified. However, the procedure could take some time.

The Board of Directors must approve a new sport or activity for a piloting process.

The pilot program must last at least one year. The new sport or activity must have support from the Classification and League Organizing Committee, the Sports Medicine Committee, the Equity Committee and the Board of Directors before the Legislative Council can vote on it.

Boys volleyball’s attempt to be sanctioned was spiked by last April when the Classification and League Organizing Committee voted not to open the sport’s proposal, so the Legislative Council never considered adopting boys volleyball.

And the Legislative Council gave the OK for schools to participate in a Foundation Benefit Contest beyond the maximum game limit.

Schools are allowed to schedule an exhibition game where they can charge admission, keep score and raise money for their programs or a cause.

Golden View Academy, 601 Corporate Circle in Golden, and Stargate Charter School, 14530 Washington St. in Thornton, were two schools approved for full CHSAA membership.

Legacy mourns loss of coaching icon

Matt Craddock, a coaching icon in the Adams 12 Five Star school district, passed away Jan. 12 from cancer.

Craddock, 56, was once an assistant football coach at Northglenn and head coach at Thornton. In 2000 he was Legacy’s first tennis coach and for the past six seasons was an assistant football coach for the Lightning.

He served as Legacy’s interim head football coach while head coach Wayne Voorhees and several assistants recovered from injuries suffered in a 2016 bus crash at Denver International Airport.

Jim Benton is a sports writer for Colorado Community Media. He has been covering sports in the Denver area since 1968. He can be reached at jbenton@coloradocommunitymedia.com or at 303-566-4083.

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