DIAA Board of Directors Meeting Update

Updates from October 14, 2021 Meeting 

(Dover, DE) October 19, 2021 – The Delaware Interscholastic Athletic Association (DIAA) Board of Directors convened last Thursday for its regularly scheduled monthly meeting.  Topics of discussion included updates from Delaware Division of Public Health (DPH), a proposal from the Delaware Association of Athletic Directors (DAAD) for continuing athletic directors’ education, impacts to DIAA football and volleyball championship venues due to COVID-19, DIAA committee and NFHS updates and the Executive Director’s report.

In the DPH update, there are reported COVID-19 cases in schools, fall sport teams, and extracurricular activities.  DPH continues to encourage all players to promote vaccinations among teams to limit the spread of COVID-19.  In instances where vaccinated individuals have been made to quarantine, those individuals should contact their school nurse to verify vaccination status using their date of birth.  At this time, masks will be required per DPH to be worn for winter sports.  DPH will continue to provide updates as they become available.

The DIAA board approved  a proposal from DAAD requesting funds to train new athletic directors and offer continued professional development.  The training is a reinvestment in athletic directors who play an invaluable role in the facilitation of interscholastic playing opportunities for the student athletes in Delaware.  The DAAD training program is also aimed at providing mentorship opportunities to newer athletic directors which assists with schools’ ability to retain athletic directors.  DAAD will provide bi-annual updates to the DIAA Board on the course implementation outcomes and effectiveness.

DIAA member schools hosted the football and volleyball championships in 2020 due to the COVID-19 public health pandemic. The DIAA Board approved the exploration of alternative championship sites for this year, and DIAA will release fall sport championship venues in the upcoming weeks.

The Sports Medicine Advisory Committee presented an updated return to play protocol to clarify this process for athletic trainers, school nurses, and physicians.  DIAA will collaborate with school nurses to determine best practices and to assist with the dissemination of this information to constituent groups.

DIAA provided a summary of updates regarding the upcoming October 31 report to the Joint Legislative Oversight Sunset Committee (JLOSC), which includes new information since DIAA’s last report in July.  DIAA continues to pursue the opportunity to create a strategic plan.  The DIAA website that was newly launched in September continues to provide features that will enhance the DIAA’s workflow efficiency and provide more user friendly navigation to website visitors and DIAA constituents.  A form was recently added to the website so regulation violations and other inquiries can be easily submitted to DIAA.  

Delaware is representing Section 2 on several National Federation of High School (NFHS) committees.  Executive Director Donna Polk serves on the NFHS Strategic Committee and the NFHS Technology Committee.  DIAA Coordinator Stephanie Mark was recently appointed to the NFHS Girls Lacrosse Rules Committee.  Dr. James Connor, assistant principal at St. Georges Technical High School, serves on the NFHS Coaches Association Advisory Committee.  DIAA Football State Interpreter Andrew Bero serves on the NFHS Football Rules Committee and the NFHS Football Manual Committee.  JP Bennett, Delaware Lacrosse Officials Association assignor, serves on the NFHS Boys Lacrosse Committee.  Dorinda Toney, Delaware Field Hockey Umpires Association assignor, is a member of the NFHS Field Hockey Rules Committee.  With the recent NFHS announcement that state associations will have the choice of 12, 13, or 14 weight classes for boys and girls competition in high school wrestling, effective with the 2023-24 season, DIAA will solicit feedback from the DIAA Wrestling Committee and member schools for the best weight classes to serve DIAA wrestling student athletes.  The NFHS also announced that a shot clock will be allowed by state adoption for high school basketball in 2022-23.  DIAA will also solicit feedback from the DIAA Boys and Girls Basketball Committees and member schools to collect information regarding the best option for Delaware and basketball student athletes.

The board was updated that the Public Integrity Commission (PIC) will be reviewing a draft of proposed regulation changes concerning out-of-season interscholastic athletic activities at the high school level. After receiving feedback from PIC, it will be shared with the DIAA Board for review and action.  The Unified Sports Committee has developed an educational video for flag football to emphasize the importance of meaningful involvement.  Unified sport participants and coaches are encouraged to view the video to continue to bring awareness to the importance of playing with integrity and how every member of the team must be involved in order to make that happen.  Fall sport sportsmanship concerns were also addressed and the importance of sportsmanship was reiterated.  Coaches are reminded of the important role they play in the development of student athletes as mentors through their interscholastic experiences and modeling behaviors.  An update on officials registrations was provided as there is a current officiating shortage, although there was an influx in new officials registrations from the October 1st Delaware News Journal article.  DIAA is working with the NFHS office and other NFHS Section 2 state associations to seek out and identify best practices in officials recruiting and retention.  For anyone interested in becoming an official, please visit www.becomeanofficial.com

The next DIAA Board of Directors’ meeting is scheduled for November 18th.

For media inquiries contact Alison May at Alison.may@doe.k12.de.us

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