The First State will try to have a fall high school sports season after all.
After getting Division of Public Health approval, the Delaware Interscholastic Athletic Association (DIAA) Board of Directors voted in favor of plan for football and other sports to start later this month.
The DIAA plan calls for the fall sports teams to start practicing on September 28. Games begin October 19 with football getting underway on October 23.
Football will have a seven game season. Soccer, field hockey, and cross country can play a maximum of 12 games.
The board also voted unanimously to require masks for all medium and high risk sports.
Board Member Mike Hart, who suggested the plan, says everyone involved needs to pull together to create schedules.
"It's going to be a heavy lift, it really is. There's a lot of issues there," said Hart. "I do believe that with all of these collective minds here, the AD's, superintendents, principals, and everybody we can figure this out."
Board Member Kevin Fitzgerald says he’d also like more help from the state to resolve other issues.
"I would really like to see support from DPH that would allow more students on a bus," said Fitzgerald. "If we could put more students who wear face masks on a bus, I think that would alleviate a lot of the issues that schools will also have as far as being able to have JV teams, freshman teams, that really are solely dependent on bus transportation."
Board Member Ted Laws also hopes DPH continues to work with the DIAA to overcome limits on bus transportation.
"We should be asking someone to reach out to DPH, for lack of better terms, put the pressure on them to have them work with us getting kids on the bus,: said Laws. "Put the damn windows down we'll get air moving that way to help get ventilation and what not. Maybe it's as simple as that, maybe it's not. But yes, wear the mask on the bus. You're going to wear them running up and down on the fields of play for the different sports. I'm sure the kids would be more than happy to wear them on the bus if it gets more kids on the bus."
The winter sports schedule will now begin November 30, and the spring sports schedule is slated to start on March 1, 2021.
The new fall schedule must still be approved by the State Board of Education at its meeting next week.