The purpose of the Delaware Interscholastic Athletic Association (DIAA) is:

  • to preserve and promote the educational significance of interscholastic athletics;
  • to ensure that interscholastic athletics remain compatible with the educational mission of the member schools;
  • to provide for fair and equitable competition between the member schools;
  • to promote sportsmanship and ethical behavior;
  • to establish and enforce standards of conduct for athletes, coaches, administrators, officials, and spectators;
  • to protect the physical well-being of the athletes; and
  • to promote healthy adolescent lifestyles.


The DIAA is designated by the Secretary of Education to regulate and oversee the conduct of interscholastic athletics in the state of Delaware.

From 1947 to 1966, interscholastic athletics was governed by the Delaware Association of Secondary Administrators (DASA). In 1966, DSSAA was formed because the growth of interscholastic athletics necessitated a separate governing body.

In July 2002, DSSAA was dissolved and DIAA took its place with the same goals, objectives and responsibilities.

The membership consists of 118 school (61 high schools and 55 middle schools). Of the sixty-one high schools, twenty-four are traditional public, twelve are charter six are vo-tech and nineteen are private. Of the fifty-five middle schools, thirty-one are traditional public, twelve are charter, and twelve are private.

Interesting Facts

  • The DIAA office is located in the John W. Collette Education Resource Center in Dover. The staff consists of a full-time Executive Director, a full-time Coordinator of Athletics and a full-time secretary who are responsible for the daily affairs of DIAA. The Executive Director is a non-voting member of the Board of Directors.
  • The governance structure of DIAA includes the following standing committees: Rules and Regulations, Sportsmanship, Sports Medicine, Officials, Unified Sports, Cross Country, Girls’ Volleyball, Field Hockey, Boys’ and Girls’ Soccer, Football, Wrestling, Swimming and Diving, Boys’ and Girls’ Basketball, Track and Field, Boys’ and Girls’ Lacrosse, Tennis, Golf, Softball, Baseball, Student Athlete Development Committee, and the Student Athlete Advisory Committee.
  • The standing committees are responsible for making recommendations to the Board of Directors in their respective areas. In addition, the sport committees are responsible for organizing and conducting state championships in their respective sports.
  • Proposed revisions of the DIAA Rules and Regulations must be submitted to the Executive Director. They are reviewed by the Rules and Regulations Committee and forwarded to the Board of Directors for an initial reading. The proposed changes which receive a favorable vote are then presented to the member schools for written comment and discussion at the Annual Membership Meeting. The Board of Directors reviews the proposed changes for a second time taking into consideration the comments of the member schools. The proposals which receive a second favorable vote are forwarded to the Secretary of Education who then submits them to the State Board of Education for final approval in accordance with the Administrative Procedures Act.
  • DIAA is, for the most part, a self-supporting organization. The Department of Education provides office space and a full-time secretary but the Executive Director’s and Coordinator’s salaries and benefits and all other operating expenses are paid from DIAA financial accounts. The major sources of revenue are tournament entry fees and gate receipts, member school dues, and contest officials’ dues.
  • DIAA has adopted NFHS playing rules in all sports except golf and tennis.  DIAA has adopted USGA rules in golf and USTA rules in tennis.  The playing code of each sport has been adopted without modifications except as approved by the Board of Directors.
  • DIAA sponsors 17 preseason rules interpretation clinics which are mandatory for high school and middle school head coaches and contest officials in their respective sports.
  • DIAA organizes and conducts 36 boys’ and girls’ state championships which involve approximately 490 teams, 6,500 athletes in 175 contests, and 90,000 spectators.
  • DIAA provides member schools with NFHS rules books, case books, handbooks, simplified and illustrated rules books, signal charts, and scorer’s and timer’s instructions for each sport that they sponsor. In addition, member schools can receive an NFHS Court and Field Diagram Book, a National High School Sports Record Book, and subscription to the NFHS Quarterly News.
  • DIAA sponsors an annual workshop for “new” athletic directors and also the annual Delaware Association of Athletic Directors Conference.
  • DIAA provides, upon request, “scholar-athlete” certificates for high school students who earn a varsity letter and maintain a 3.5 GPA during the competitive season. Certificates are also provided to middle school students who participate on an interscholastic team and maintain a grade of “B” or better in all subjects during the competitive season.
  • DIAA sponsors the annual Harry Roberts Senior Scholar-Athlete Awards. Member schools can select one male candidate and one female candidate who can apply for the awards. Members of the Sportsmanship Committee then review the applications and select a male and a female winner who receive a plaque and a $2,000 scholarship to the post-secondary institution of their choice.  Second and third place awards are also selected with the runner-up award receiving a plaque and a $1,500 scholarship to the post-secondary institution of their choice and a third place winner who receives a $1,000 scholarship to the post-secondary of their choice.
  • DIAA sponsors the attendance of 40 student delegates and 8 adult delegates to the Annual DIAA Student Leadership Conference in Lewes in August of each year.
  • DIAA sponsors the annual Dale Farmer Champions in Sportsmanship Award which is a non-competitive award for which any member high school or middle school can qualify by submitting an application and satisfying ten performance criteria. The award recognizes and promotes the practice of good sportsmanship among the member schools. Recipients who are selected to win the sportsmanship award receive a banner in their school colors, five state tournament passes, and guaranteed slots for two student delegates and one adult delegate to the annual DIAA Student Leadership Conference.