Some parents, fans, coaches and players are not happy that regulations governing high school spring sports can’t be changed fast enough to keep up with Gov. John Carney’s announcement last week that most high school sports teams can now play without masks.
His update to his COVID-19 Emergency order would have meant that lacrosse and volleyball players were the only ones who had to wear masks as of April 2.
That’s because both are considered high-risk sports because the players often come into sustained or repeated contact with each other. Lacrosse is played outside, while boys volleyball is played inside.
Even so, the Delaware Interscholastic Athletic Association immediately announced, “DIAA Regulation 1011 5.6 requires that student athletes shall wear a face covering at all times. With the exception of golf, all spring sport student-athletes must continue to wear face coverings.”
The DIAA board of directors will meet Thursday, April 8, to discuss Carney’s order, the DIAA said.
The mask-wearing requirement was a hot topic during the last week at games and on social media.
Parents unhappy about the decision don’t think masks are needed to be worn for any outdoor sports but understand why indoor sports had to.
They are frustrated that the Delaware Interscholastic Athletic Association and its board of directors cannot move quickly to change the regulation.
Parents at the games declined to talk on the record, but the all said the sports masks mandates should have been lifted once Carney approved it.
One parent on social media tracked why it would take the DIAA so long to change their own rule: First, he said, the DIAA board has to meet and vote to change the regulation. Then it must go out for public comment for 30 days. The DIAA Board can then make a formal vote on a new regulation. But that must be approved by the full Board of Education Board in May.”
The state Board of Education is set to meet April 22 and May 20. By the May meetings, the seasons will be done or almost done.
In the meantime, high school athletes must follow the mask mandate.
Public comment is welcome on the issue by sending emails to email@example.com.
The DIAA meeting is livestreamed. If you would like to watch or listen, register here for the 9 a.m. Thursday meeting.