Wednesday, October 18, 2000
Steamboat Springs A disagreement between the Colorado High School Activities Association and the administration of the Steamboat Springs High School will result in the Sailors boys soccer team forfeiting two games.
The incident that led to the decision came in games on Sept. 14 and Sept. 16. Colorado High Schools Activities Association Commissioner Bob Ottewill said he received and approved a hardship waiver on Sept. 27 but ruled the Sailors were forced to forfeit the two games the player had taken part in before that date.
Steamboat High School was informed of the decision but decided to appeal it. The final word, which was decided by three principals in the Western Slope Conference's 3A division, came this week and upheld the original CHSAA ruling.
"It's crazy," Sailors head coach Rob Bohlmann said. "It's not going to impact us, but the decision will be felt by some of the others in the league."
Steamboat, the top seed in the conference, will host Brighton in a regional playoff game at 11 a.m. Saturday.
Glenwood Springs will be the No. 2 seed, and Battle Mountain will move into the No. 3 seed. Palisade, who was awarded a win based on the CHSAA decision, bumps Rifle out of the fourth and final playoff seed by a single game.
Steamboat Springs athletics director Steve Moos said CHSAA's decision to uphold the original ruling will not impact the Sailors' playoff situation.
Moos explained the disagreement comes over the question of whether a Steamboat player was eligible to play in games against Palisade and Moffat County earlier in the year.
The end result is that the Sailors boys soccer team will be forced by CHSAA to forfeit two conference games played earlier in the season. The teams they played will be awarded with a win. Ironically, the decision will not impact the Sailors' standings in the conference. Steamboat moves from 9-1 to 7-3 but will still collect its sixth straight conference title. It's the seventh title in the history of the school.
"It's basically a disagreement over the interpretation of the CHSAA rule," Moos said. "We feel like we are in the right, but we will not file our final appeal because a decision will come too late."
The impact of the decision, however, will be felt a few miles down Colorado Highway 13, where the Rifle Bears will be bumped out of the playoffs.
"I did not realize at the time that it would impact the standings until after the decision," Ottewill said. "It's unfortunate, but the standings would not have impacted, and should not have impacted, the final decision."
Rifle coach Tom Taucher took the news in stride even though he knew nothing of the controversy until shortly before the conference meeting Oct. 16. He also learned at that time his team would not advance to the regional playoffs.
"We hosted the Western Slope Conference meeting at 10 a.m. Monday and the first time I heard about the situation was 9:59 a.m.," Taucher said. "It was disappointing, but we have nobody to blame but ourselves. If we has taken care of business on the field I wouldn't be having this conversation now."
After the first two conference games, the Steamboat player applied for and was awarded a hardship waiver. But, according to Ottewill, it came too late.
He decided the player could in fact play in later games, but his earlier participation would not be overlooked and the games in question would have to be forfeited.
"We have to make a decision based on the rules and we can't look at how every domino will fall," Ottewill said. "We made a decision and unfortunately it looks like Rifle got the short end of the stick."
To reach John F. Russell call 871-4209 or e-mail email@example.com