KUSA – The Regis Jesuit girls basketball team’s storied run to a national championship is over due to a technicality.
Language in the Colorado High School Activities Association (CHSAA) bylaws approved by member schools forced the CHSAA to deny the Raiders a bid to play a national championship tournament in New York in April.
Rule 2300.1 in the CHSAA handbook states that sports teams are not allowed to compete outside the designated “competitive season.”
“There may be no sanctioned interscholastic competition except during the competitive season,” bylaw 2300.1 of the CHSAA handbook states.
The end of the “competitive season” for basketball is March 15, the day of state championship games. The national tournament is three weeks after the end of the competitive season.
The sixth annual DICK’S Sporting Goods High School National Tournament is April 3 through 5 in New York City.
“This won’t happen again in most of our schools existence because it’s the first time it’s happened for a true National Championship,” Regis Jesuit athletic director John Koslosky said in an email.
Any extra games following the state championships would have to be approved at the CHSAA Board of Control meeting April 28, nearly a month after the tournament.
Any change to a bylaw requires approval by members.
Regis Jesuit (24-2) received the invitation to the tournament March 10, which will include the top four girls teams in the nation.
Regis Jesuit is No. 4 in USA Today’s Super 25 rankings.
The CHSAA declined to comment, referring 9NEWS to a statement issued on the CHSAA website.
“Under the Colorado High School Activities Association bylaws, playing in a tournament outside the sport’s season is not allowed. Regis Jesuit was provided with the option of competing as a club team at the event. But, under CHSAA bylaws, they would be prohibited from competition as a high school team after this Saturday’s state championship game. The bylaws do not provide an option for a waiver of that rule.”
The tournament is an all expenses-paid trip for the team and coaches. The games will be played at Madison Square Garden and televised nationally on ESPN networks.
The defending 5A champions will be playing at least two more games.
That starts with a semifinal contest at 7 p.m. Thursday at CU-Boulder’s Coors Events Center against Poudre and the state championship game Saturday at 3 p.m.
But it is the experience of playing in a basketball mecca that the Regis Jesuit will miss the most, Koslosky said.
“I mean, who gets to play in Madison Square Garden?” he said.
“To just say you got to end your high school career by playing in this kind of an event…hot bed of basketball in the middle of New York City. That would have been what was neat for the kids.”
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