football generic

In a year of COVID-19 related modifications in the Delaware Interscholastic Athletic Association, their football committee is making few changes to their postseason format.

The committee decided to recommend keeping the automatic bids for the Henlopen North, Henlopen South, Blue Hen Flight A, and Blue Hen Flight B conferences.

The two remaining bids in Division 1 and Division 2 would then be determined via an at-large system.

They kept the 6 points victory, 1 point loss system for Division 1 opponents, with 4 and 0 the points earned for Division 2 opposition.

A strength of schedule component is also in play, as team's would earn a bonus point if their opponent reaches 5 wins, with another point available if they claim a 6th victory. In a normal year, those thresholds are 7 and 9 wins.

One major note is a team must have five games either played, or canceled due to an opposing team forfeiting due to COVID-19, to qualify for the playoffs.

At the moment, that would exclude Salesianum, who still has just three games on their schedule. Every other team in Delaware has at least five games lined up.

A major hindrance has been the Blue Hen Conference choosing to play full round-robins of the 8 team in each division, eating up the seven allotted game windows.

Some have suggested the Blue Hen Conference should take a conference game off of each team's schedule to create scheduling opportunities for the Sals.

DIAA Board President Dr. Bradley Layfield was not directly referencing the Salesianum situation, but seemed to suggest a mandate wasn't going to be likely.

"DIAA, or even the football committee, has absolutely no authority to dictate to any conference what they put out as far as their schedules go."

That said, a discussion of "DIAA Non-Conference School Scheduling" is on the agenda for Thursday's DIAA Board of Director's Meeting, as is an emergency Executive Session for potential litigation, although its unclear if that is connected to Salesianum's situation.

Gathering limits, especially for the DIAA Tournament, were also discussed.

The Delaware Division of Public Health currently has a 250-person outdoor gathering limit, although events are permitted to apply for an expansion from DPH with an approved plans.

Multiple schools including Dover and Salesianum are looking for that approval.

Board Chair James Comegys said the mix of schools that are not allowing any fans, or just home fans, is at least cause for some pause when it comes to who should host tournament games.

"We're at the discretion for the host school for that event. Go back to the caveat where the committee gets to decide things later on, if that's something we have to change we would put that caveat in, maybe we do we need to make all games at X site where can get 200 fans."

Fellow Board Member Eric Torbert was able to convince him away from that thought, suggesting that on-the-field results should mean more than who's stadium or administration is more lenient for fans.

"I would hate to see somebody to get the idea that we would even consider taking a home game away from somebody if they weren't allowing visiting fans, or no fans at all."

It's still unclear how they would handle a state championship game, whether that would be a home game or neutral site, assuming a neutral school would be willing/able to host.

The DIAA does not have any say on gathering limit policies in the regular season, that discussion is between the Division of Public Health and the individual school or district.

The committee also continued their conversation on football face covering rules, saying that any attachment to the faceguard that is inside the cage would be legal, with anything outside being illegal, and a violation of helmet insurance.

Splash guards will be permitted to be used, but only if a face covering is also worn.

As discussed Tuesday at the Sports Medicine Advisory Committee, any player who touches their mouth guard with their hands would be required to use hand sanitizer before being allowed to continue. That rule is from the Division of Public Health.

St. Georges Head Coach John Wilson asked DIAA if there could be a consideration for an extra game if team's don't make the tournament.

DIAA Board President Dr. Bradley Layfield said it would require a change to their regulations.

"I have not seen a written recommendation for that, although we're less than 24 hours away from meeting to work on other recommendations to changes to 1010 [emergency regulations]."