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DIAA Board of Directors' - February Update

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DIAA Board of Directors' - February Update

(Dover, DE) February 12, 2021 The Delaware Interscholastic Athletic Association (DIAA) Board of Directors' held two (2) meetings in February virtually, and topics of discussion included an updated Return to Play protocol for student-athletes who test positive for COVID-19, football realignment, and an update from DIAA's executive director concerning the Sixth Revision to the 27th Modification of the State of Emergency Declaration

The return to play protocol for student athletes who test positive for COVID-19 was updated by the Sports Medicine Advisory Committee and was implemented this past week.  The updates to the Return to Play protocol includes a gradual and monitored return to play acclimatization period before student athletes are cleared to return to competition.  This return to play process after a positive COVID-19 test is similar to the gradual return to play process in place currently for student athletes who suffer a concussion.  Member school athletic directors, school nurses and athletic trainers can find the updated Return to Play COVID-19 Clearance form on the DIAA website. 

The Delaware Association of Athletic Directors (DAAD) Football Reclassification Sub-Committee presented at both Board of Directors meetings this month on the football realignment proposal.  With weighed feedback from superintendents, charter, and private heads of school, a football reclassification model was developed and subsequently voted on by the Board of Directors.  The football reclassification was approved by the Board and the complete reclassification breakdown can be found here.  The approved three-tier classification system would be a change from the two-division format currently in place.   There are three classifications consisting of districts competing for three state championships.  Districts were determined by geographic location.  3A Classification will have 11 teams in 2 districts, 2A classification consist of 21 teams in 3 districts and 1A classification will have 14 teams in 2 districts.  The football reclassification allows for more uniformity among schools, provides relief with in-state scheduling, addresses safety concerns, and will hopefully increase student athlete participation and interest in football to provide more teams the opportunity to compete competitively.  DAAD Football Reclassification Sub-Committee will work with their scheduling committee to have further discussions around developing the final schedule.  The DIAA Football Committee will meet in the ensuing weeks to discuss the impacts to the football state tournament seeding index.  

“DIAA would like to thank DAAD and the DAAD Football Reclassification Sub-Committee for their hard work with the football realignment proposal,” said Donna Polk, DIAA executive director.  “The realignment concept has been discussed for years and is long awaited.  I would like to acknowledge those preceding my leadership for their work and concepts that laid the foundation to see this day come.  This is a testament to their hard work and for helping to elevate football in Delaware.  This was a great day for interscholastic sports in Delaware.”  Polk shared she looks forward to working with DAAD and key stakeholders moving forward to continue to enhance DIAA sport offerings and programs.  

On February 4, 2021, Governor Carney also issued the Sixth Revision to the 27th Modification of the State of Emergency Declaration, which allows DIAA to submit plans for DIAA winter championships to the Delaware Division of Public Health (DPH) for approval.  Additionally, the spectator limit has been increased to allow for two (2) spectators per student athlete at athletic competitions, which went into effect today at 8:00 a.m.  For the regular season only, member schools will still determine, per their approved DPH facility plan, if spectators from both teams may attend events.  Member schools should continue to schedule dual team competitions.  Competition with more than two teams requires DPH approval with the approval email sent to DIAA.  The Sports Medicine Advisory Committee continues to strongly recommend that there should be at least 48-72 hours between athletic competitions.

Winter Sports Championships are scheduled to start February 26, 2021 with a completion date by March 13, 2021.  

  • Swimming and Diving: Diving at McKean HS on February 26, Swimming at Sussex Academy on February 27 – 28.  
  • Individual Wrestling: February 27 – 28 and March 3 at Cape Henlopen High School
  • Indoor Track: TBD
  • Girls Basketball, Boys Basketball and Unified Basketball: sites and dates TBD                                                                  (tentative finals date March 12 – Girls Basketball and March 13 – Boys Basketball)

Spring sports are scheduled to begin March 1, 2021 with no impact to regular season maximum games, meets or matches.  Find link to sport specific guidance here: Spring Sports Guidance 

As student-athletes and coaches continue to participate in winter sports, it’s imperative that the health and safety measures outlined in the State’s Order, DPH guidance and in DIAA Regulation 1011 are adhered to.  

 

Report violations of COVID-19 restrictions by emailing HSPContact@delaware.gov 

Report violations of DIAA Rules and Regulations to diaa@doe.k12.de.us

 

For media inquiries contact Alison May, and for information regarding DIAA, contact diaa@doe.k12.de.us