Delaware’s State Board of Education Thursday approved a plan to reinstate the state’s high school athletics seasons to the fall, according to reports, officially becoming the latest state to reverse course on its decision to move all of its sports to the spring.
On Wednesday, Colorado Gov. Jared Polis authorized a plan that allows schools to opt back into a fall season after the state’s high school athletics association previously voted to move high risk sports to the spring.
That makes three states, including Michigan, that have allowed a return to the fall season.
Delaware’s state board voted 4-3 to approve the Delaware Interscholastic Athletic Association’s Sept. 10 plan to return to the fall. The state previously moved all sports to the spring back in August.
Now, the DIAA will begin practices for football, boys soccer, volleyball, field hockey and cross country on Sept. 28. Games will begin Oct. 19 for everything but football, which will begin Oct. 23. The shortened seasons will run until mid December, including playoffs.
The Colorado High School Activities Association’s Board of Directors, meanwhile, voted 12-3 on Wednesday night to approve fall seasons for football, field hockey and sideline spirit teams.
Colorado’s schools, however, have been given the option to either bring their fall seasons back, or remain in the spring. They cannot choose both, however. The Denver Post reported between 75 and 80 percent of football teams will return to the fall.
The change in course came after the CHSAA submitted new safety variances to Gov. Polis’ COVID-10 Response team, including the mandatory use of masks for everyone on a field and roster size restrictions. The Colorado Dept. of Health has the authority to shut sports down if communities falls out of compliance.
Like the rest of the country, both states have seen an uptick of COVID-19 cases this month. Delaware’s reported cases have risen 7% over the last week, according to the New York Times, while Colorado has spiked more than 50%. Colorado is relatively low in cases per 100,000 residents with 53 (40th among US states). Delaware’s is 87 (23rd among US states).
As of Sept. 18, there were 19 states, including the District of Columbia, that have opted not to play football this fall. Eighteen were modifying their season starts and 14 have elected to start on time, according to the National Federation of High School Associations.
For a complete breakdown of sports seasons by state visit nfhs.org.