Frawley Stadium hosts a Delaware Instructional League baseball game on June 15, 2020

Frawley Stadium hosts a Delaware Instructional League baseball game on June 15, 2020

Delaware Governor John Carney approved sports competition in Delaware beginning on June 15, 2020 as part of Phase 2 of his Reopening Plan from COVID-19, but he hasn't been pleased with everything he's seen.

Delaware's guidance included mandates on mask use for coaches, along with six-foot social distancing for players and spectators when they're not directly involved in the game action.

Carney said he's seen people ignoring those rules.

"I've seen myself how the coaches and the parents aren't following the guidance in terms of the dugouts and spacing. We need to work with that, and we're going to do that, get more people on the ground, talk to people in the leagues. Some leagues have been better than others."

Tournaments were also permitted, benefiting some of Delaware's larger sports complexes, but that's where Carney said he'd need to take a second look if organizers can't get participants to social distance.

"We've had tournaments over the weekend, which are a big concern, and we're going to do a lot of Monday morning quarterbacking on that."

Delaware's high school sports community has also been on hold since the COVID emergency was declared. 

After losing the end of the basketball tournaments at the entire spring season, off-season conditioning sessions were scheduled to begin on June 15, but Dr. Karyl Rattay, Delaware's Director of Public Health, said some decisions on that front may be coming soon.

"We have been working with the DIAA, so the guidance we released for youth sports, they're developing their own set of regulations to align with the order that Governor Carney signed."

A big question for public health officials continues to be the highest-contact sports, including football, boys' lacrosse, wrestling, and ice hockey.

"There's a lot of unknowns, but there a lot of things they can do at this point. Football players may be able to train socially distanced at this point, but they're not going to be able to make contact."

The DIAA has a board meeting scheduled for 9 a.m. Wednesday, where a discussion on a return-to-play model is expected to be discussed, but because the DIAA is part of the Department of Education, until the schools are declared open, it's possible Delaware's athletes might have to stay on the sidelines, at least for their school teams.