Spring sports season is still possible

Members of the Indian River girls lacrosse team were making preparations for their spring season before the season was put on ice due to the COVID-19 virus. An update from the DIAA has now given student-athletes hope for their spring 2020 season.

The Delaware Interscholastic Athletic Association on Thursday, April 9, held a video conference featuring the DIAA Board of Directors, pertaining to the potential of a spring sports season for this school year.

During that video conference, the DIAA board approved plans for a modified regular spring sports season. The board’s motion and approval was contingent upon Delaware Gov. John Carney lifting the current State of Emergency, which would allow public schools to reopen on May 18.

On Thursday, “We received great news with the DIAA Board’s decision for a modified regular spring sports season,” DIAA Executive Director Donna Polk said. “Our student-athletes can now truly prepare to be ready to return to action on May 18.

“The creative ways teams have bonded together to train and work on their individual skills during the suspension period will definitely pay off once you return together as a team. We look forward to seeing you all on the field, court, track and course. Until that day approaches, focus academically, be safe, be healthy, and continue to practice social distancing. We are in this together.”

Indian River High School Athletic Director Todd Fuhrmann echoed the sentiments of Polk and said that there is now some hope for there to be a spring sports season.

“It’s certainly a positive, with the board’s decision,” Fuhrmann said. “We had an athletic directors’ meeting with the conference, and we have some contingency plans in place for schedules and other pertinent details once we are given the clearance to proceed. The biggest hurdles will be in making sure we have enough buses and officials/umpires for the varsity games, and have hopes of being able to do some J.V. and middle school as well.”

The DIAA Board of Directors’ guidance for the spring sports season will provide a week for coaches to get their rosters and practices in line, beginning on Monday, May 18. Each sport will have a four-week period to schedule their games, from May 26 to June 20, which will require schools to follow all DIAA regulations for weekly maximum games allowed.

DIAA officials expressed that they remain committed to the health and safety of its student-athletes, coaches and officials, and continue to support opportunities for participation, when possible within the current guidelines allowed due to COVID-19.

The DIAA’s No. 1 priority through this pandemic, they said, has always been “to keep our students, coaches, member schools and communities safe. We will continue to monitor and navigate through these unprecedented times to ensure a good experience for student-athletes, and adjust as the situation presents.”

The DIAA Board of Directors will be making a decision with regards to the potential of there being spring sports championships at the May board meeting.

Staff Reporter

Jason has been in journalism for 20 years. He moved to Coastal Delaware in August 2017 with his wife, Jessica, and their daughters, Kylie, 17, and Grace, 12. He has a passion for high-school sports and especially values the relationships that builds.