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DIAA puts sports on hold until December

Amanda Parrish
Dover Post

The Delaware Interscholastic Athletic Association board of directors voted Thursday to not have sports through the first semester of the 2020-21 academic year, due to safety concerns around COVID-19.

High school sports will not happen until at least December with a shortened season, starting with winter sports, fall and then spring.

"The DIAA has been working to return our student athletes and coaches to participating in interscholastic athletics," executive director Donna Polk said in a press release. "We are thankful to all involved for their shared commitment to get sports back in the educational setting while realizing the significant benefit to the emotional, mental, social and physical well-being for student-athletes."

Middletown High School playing fall 2020.

DIAA member schools proposed a plan that would allow for six weeks for the regular season and two weeks for tournament play for all sports. Winter sports would start practice Dec. 14, with the season beginning Jan. 4 and ending Feb. 15. State tournaments would run as normal.

Fall sports would start practicing Feb. 19. The regular season would start March 12 and end April 21. Football would only play six games. The football state tournaments would have four teams in each division and other fall sports would run normal state tournaments.

Spring practices would begin April 19, with the regular season from May 10 to June 19, with state tournaments running as normal.

While they are not allowed to have formal practices yet, coaches can provide out-of-season instruction to players, including open gyms and conditioning programs.

The board plans to get input from member school about the dates and plans to vote on exact dates at their next regularly scheduled meeting Sept. 10.