The DIAA Board of Directors will discuss a change to their COVID-19 emergency order that would cancel the 2020 football season, and potentially the rest of the fall sports, as well.
A draft posted on the DIAA's agenda site for Thursday morning's meeting calls for football and unified flag football to "not be permitted during the 2020 fall sports season." It is not clear if those sports could be added to the spring menu.
Field hockey, volleyball, cross country, and boys' soccer would be permitted to continue, but likely without competition.
Their potential futures are tied to the three scenarios announced by Governor John Carney in his school reopening plan.
Delaware has permitted a hybrid model of remote instruction and in-person learning options, and the DIAA's proposed answer is to suspend scrimmages and competitions, but still allow tryouts and practices at schools that are open.
If Delaware enters the phase where in-person instruction is allowed full-time, and schools are open, sports would be allowed. If Delaware were to close all school buildings, sports would be suspended completely.
The proposal - which again, is just a proposal and could be changed dramatically - does include potential modifications in the remaining sports.
A sampling includes cross country courses being required to be at least six feet at its narrowest point, field hockey players would not be allowed to pick up the ball on restarts, soccer headers and shoulder tackles being banned, and volleyball teams would not switch benches after sets.
The proposal does not give a start or end date for fall sports, if Delaware were to get to the green (open) stage.
Delaware would need to have two of the following happen to qualify for green:
- Average COVID daily hospitalizations fall to under 10 per 100,000 people
- Under 10 new COVID cases per 100,000
- Less than 3% of people testing positive
Since April 18, Delaware has had just one week that would qualify for the proposal's return to sports.
From July 25-31, Delaware was at 6.0, 70.0, and 4.3% in the three crucial categories.
The DIAA Board of Directors meeting is set for 9 a.m. on Thursday, August 6, 2020. It will be available via GoToMeeting. A public comment period is on the agenda, but is listed for after the discussion on the fall sports proposal.
All changes proposed by the DIAA would still have to be approved by the Delaware State School Board, which isn't scheduled to meet again until August 20, although an emergency meeting could potentially be called.