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Delaware Interscholastic Athletic Association board okays plan for spring sports should schools reopen

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Maddie Schepers of St. Mark's has a step on the Delaware Military defender, and that resulted in a goal for the Spartans in this game last April. (The Dialog/Mike Lang)

The Delaware Interscholastic Athletic Association’s board of directors on Thursday approved a modified regular spring sports season for high schools, but the plan is contingent on Gov. John Carney lifting the state of emergency and public schools reopening on May 18. The DIAA made the announcement late on the afternoon of April 9.

Should schools reopen, teams will be given a week “acclimation period” for practice beginning May 18, and they will have a four-week period in which to schedule games (May 26-June 20). The schools must follow DIAA regulations for weekly maximum games that can be played.

“DIAA is committed to the health and safety of student-athletes and supports opportunities for participation when possible within the current guidelines due to COVID-19,” the agency said in a statement. “DIAA’s number one priority through COVID-19 pandemic is 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.”

Donna Polk, the executive director of DIAA, called the plan “great news.” She praised the schools and athletes for the creative ways they have bonded together during the shutdown to train and work on individual skills. That will pay off should activities resume.

Competition for spring sports was originally scheduled to begin on March 23. There was no mention in the DIAA announcement about whether the four-week season would include postseason action.