Colorado lawmakers back Jewish basketball team | VailDaily.com
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Colorado lawmakers back Jewish basketball team

DENVER, Colorado ” State senators have taken up the cause of a Jewish boys basketball team whose playoff run may be halted because its players can’t play on the Jewish Sabbath.

The Herzl/Rocky Mountain Hebrew Academy team could be headed for a regional championship on Saturday, March 8, if it wins one more game. But the Denver team’s religious beliefs prohibit students from playing on the Jewish Sabbath between sundown Friday and sundown Saturday.

If the school makes it to the championship round but refuses to play the Saturday game, it would lose by forfeit.

Earlier this month, the Colorado High School Activities Association, which governs sports and other high school activities, rejected the team’s request for a schedule change.

At the end of morning debate in the state Senate on Wednesday, Majority Leader Ken Gordon, D-Denver, called on CHSAA to be more flexible.

Senate President Peter Groff, D-Denver, said CHSAA’s decision was ironic because CHSSA has a rule barring games from being played on Sunday for religious reasons.

Sen. Tom Wiens, R-Sedalia, said there must be a way for CHSAA to accommodate the team.

“It just seems like the bureaucracy has run amok here,” Wiens said.

Bruce H. DeBoskey, mountain states regional director for the Anti-Defamation League, said the group was disappointed by CHSAA’s decision.


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