The Delaware Interscholastic Athletic Association Board of Directors voted to postpone the fall sports schedule in Delaware until the second half of the school year.
In a vote that went 15-0 (1 abstention - Doug Thompson), the board chose to switch the order of Delaware's 2020-21 high sports to winter, fall, spring, with a time table to be determined later.
The sample timetable taken from the Henlopen Conference's list of options would have winter sports practices begin on December 14, with games running for six weeks starting on January 4.
"Fall" would then begin with practices on February 19, with games beginning on March 12 and a six-week window for games.
Spring practices then commence on April 19, with games starting on May 10.
In all three seasons, DIAA state tournaments would follow the six-week regular season, so the chance remains that multi-sport athletes would have a crossover period.
The board heard from Dana Carr from the Delaware Division of Public Health (DPH), who said that at the current time, football and wrestling remain sports not permitted to be played in Delaware.
"The level of contact and face-to-face play, particularly when you are in moderate-to-vigorous activity, greatly increases the risk [of COVID-19 spread]."
Carr said DPH would be willing to revisit their guidance on football and wrestling in four to six weeks.
Thompson was in favor of a separate proposal put together by the Delaware Association of Athletic Directors that would have created a two week delay to the fall season, and allowed football to proceed.
"If you allow us to have a football season with the coaches, the experts, and DAAD [athletic directors], we can minimize things like that. If we don't have football, you're going to have a lot of these camps going around, and these kids are going to be charged $90 or whatever to go to these cash cows."
Fellow board member Ted Laws was also pushing for football and wrestling to be included.
"I can't understand why youth sports in the community are allowed to proceed, but we're not allowed to proceed with select sports within the schools. We are the community."
Carr responded that DPH's decisions against football and wrestling can be works in progress as more information is gathered about the coronavirus and safety measures.
"We're still learning about what's the best way to balance the mitigation of risk and being as free as we can. We're also learning what mitigation is really critical and vital, and what we can maybe loosen up on. This is an ongoing process."
Sanford basketball coach Stan Waterman pointed out that there have been youth sports taking place since June, and asked the medical experts in the room if they had any information about outbreaks.
Carr could not respond immediately, but the board's medical advisory Dr. Bradley Bley said they were looking to get information from places like Sports at the Beach, DETurf, Kirkwood Soccer, and others.
"We've been trying to reach out to some of these organizations to get data back from them, so we're also working on trying get stuff back from the facilities."
DIAA amended their rules to allow schools that are either open, hybrid, or remote, but open to staff, to participate in sports. That was needed to cover decisions by William Penn and the Red Clay School District to start remote-only.
In the gap that has been created until the winter season begins tentatively in December, DIAA voted to allow the summer out-of-season coaching rules to extend through the first practice date of winter. That portion requires State Board of Education approval, with their next meeting currently set for August 20.