Sports + Activities

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Colorado High School Activities Association
Excellence in Academics, Activities and Athletics

14855 East 2nd Avenue

Aurora , CO 80011

(303) 344.5050

 CHSAA Fact Sheet 

CHSAA Mission Statement: The mission of the CHSAA is to serve its membership through the advancement of, and the student's participation in, interscholastic activities, which are an integral component and a complement to the educational goals of its member schools.

A Voluntary Organization: The CHSAA is a voluntary association of 354 member schools. Of the public schools, two have incarcerated or court-appointed student participants. Of the private schools, 28 are church-related. The CHSAA started in May, 1921.

Colorado's Participation Numbers: of the 224,977 students enrolled in the CHSAA's member schools in 2010-11 (the latest statistics) more than 58%, or 132,611 students, participate in music, speech, student leadership and athletics. Colorado's participation rate is one of the highest in the country. 

Music Participation Numbers Largest: Over 37,000 Students participate in music programs, both vocal and instrumental, across the state making it the largest activity sanctioned by the CHSAA.  Football, with over 16,800 students participating, is the single largest participatory sport. Boys' and Girls’ Basketball together have over 15,000 participants.

 CHSAA Legislative Body has 69 Representatives: The CHSAA's Legislative body, its Legislative Council, is made up of 69 representatives from local leagues across the state. Each league receives one representative and then two additional representatives are added for having more than 10,000 students in a single league and one having 10-19 schools in a league. An additional representative is given to leagues with 20 or more schools. All representatives are elected to the Legislative Council by the individual leagues. The state's superintendents also have three representatives on the Legislative Council.  The CHSAA Legislative Council also has five members of the Colorado Association of School Boars, representing specified areas in the state. School Board representatives from across the state are also members of the Associations sports, administrative and activities advisory committees. 

CHSAA Board of Directors Monitors Day-to-Day Operations: The CHSAA Board of Directors is the group that monitors the daily operations of the CHSAA office. Its responsibilities include budget oversight, personnel matters and services as the final appeals committee.

CHSAA Board of Directors Membership: The Board of Directors is made up of elected representatives of nine established districts across the state and representatives from the Colorado Department of Education, North Central Association, Colorado Association of School Boards, Colorado Association of School Executives and the Colorado State Legislature. In all, 14 members make up the committee in 2011-2012.

School Dues and Fees Are Just 20% of CHSAA Budget: As members in the CHSAA, each member school paid a service fee of $750 each, along with a $110 per activity fee for each activity sponsored by the school. The spread in school membership dues and fees this year was from a low of approximately $850 to a high of $3,500. That is right at 20% of the Association Budget. The remainder comes from gate receipts at the state playoff events, along with revenue from corporate sponsorship, merchandise sales and entry fees in music, spirit and speech, in all, the Association has an annual budget of $3.97 million. The annual dues and fees have remained the same for the past five years.

Association Returns Over $1.8 Million to Member Schools: Under Association policies, the organization cannot hold more than 50% of its budget in reserves, any amount over that 50% figure is returned to the membership. Over the past eight years, the Association will have returned nearly $2 million to its membership since 2000-01. In the last 13 years, the amount returned to schools is over $1.8 million. Additionally, the Association reimburses nearly $200,000 in travel expenses to schools in the football, baseball, basketball, wrestling and softball playoffs each year.

CU Study Reinforces Benefits of High School Activities: A 1992 Study conducted by CU professor Dr. Kevin McCarthy showed that the average activities participant's grade point average was 2.96 compared to the non-participant's 2.35. The study further concluded that student participants missed less school and scored significantly higher on the standardized tests. Further, his study showed that regardless of gender, ethnicity or socio-economic class, students who participated in interscholastic activities performed better in the classroom.

McCarthy's Jefferson County Study Reinforces Earlier Findings: On September 27, 1999. Dr. McCarthy released a study he conducted for Jefferson County and its 16 high schools. In that study, he found that student participants in Jefferson County had an average grade point average of 3.093 compared to the 2,444 of non-participants. This study shows with startling clarity that no matter the students' gender, ethnicity or income level, students involved with interscholastic activities had higher grades and missed school less often.

  Interscholastic Activities Sanctioned by the CHSAA: Music, Speech, Student Leadership, Boys and Girls Cross Country, Girls Field Hockey, Football, Boys and Girls Golf, Girls Gymnastics, Boys and Girls Soccer, Girls Softball, Spirit, Boys and Girls Tennis, Girls Volleyball, Boys and Girls Basketball, Ice Hockey, Boys and Girls Skiing, Wrestling, Baseball, Boys and Girls Lacrosse, Boys and Girls Swimming, Boys and Girls Track and Field.

Foundation for Colorado High School Student Activities: The FCHSSA exists to recognize the intrinsic value of school activities by providing financial support. Its goals are three-fold: 1) To preserve and create opportunities for the students involved in Colorado High School Activities Association programs; 2) To provide a vehicle for Coloradans to become actively involved in supporting quality programs which instill lifelong values in their young citizens; 3) To insure that the CHSAA can continue to provide quality programs and services to its membership. The FCHSA donated $6,000 to the National Federation of State High School Associations Annual Speech Topic meeting this past summer in Denver, along with several smaller donations to member school