Sanford celebrates winning the 2019 DIAA Boys Basketball Championship

Sanford celebrates winning the 2019 DIAA Boys Basketball Championship

The Delaware Interscholastic Athletic Administration has cancelled the rest of the 2020 Boys, Girls, and Unified Basketball Championships following the declaration of a State of Emergency by Governor John Carney.

The DIAA had been planning to hold the boys and girls semifinals, plus the Special Olympics Unified championship game, on Friday, with the remaining two title games on Saturday.

DIAA Executive Director said she worked with their Board of Directors over the past 36 hours to develop a plan if or when Carney made an emergency declaration.

"Once the Governor declared a state of emergency, we followed the guidelines of his statement in terms of his criteria within the emergency."

In the declaration, Gov. Carney recommended event organizers cancel non-essential public gatherings of 100 people or more.

Each Unified finalist will be named a co-champion, while the four remaining teams in the boys and girls competition will receive a Final Four trophy, but no champion will be named.

That means that Sanford, Dover, Appoquinimink, and Saint Andrew's will each receive a trophy from the boys tournament, with Conrad, Cape Henlopen, Sanford, and Saint Elizabeth making up the final four of girls basketball.

Dover and Caesar Rodney will be declared the co-state champion in the Special Olympics Unified Basketball competition.

The decision to cancel, as opposed to postpone, the events came with the unknown future of the effects of COVID-19.

"With not knowing what would be going in the future in not knowing in regards to how long we would be in the state of emergency, we decided it would be better to declare the Final Four winners and the Unified co-champions."

To that end, while it's a unique end to a season, Polk said they at least wanted to acknowledge that they had accomplished.

"When you have young people working hard throughout the season and they're working towards a trophy, even though the situation happened the way it happened, you still want to acknowledge the hard work that they did," Polk told WDEL. "It was important that we acknowledged the good work and play that our student-athletes did, because that's why we're here."

Anyone who purchased tickets from a school should return to that school for a refund. Anyone who purchased tickets from the University of Delaware for the semifinals or finals will receive a refund to their credit card, or the school will  contact those who paid cash.