Good morning DA basketball student-athletes and parents,
After a week of continued review of our basketball protocols and conversations with our consulting nurse and pediatricians, we have decided to amend our basketball team practice and game day protocols moving forward. We will be requiring team members on all eight of our basketball teams to be masked at all times during all portions of practices and home and away games. Student-athletes will be given plenty of mask/water/sanitation breaks during practices, and our athletic training staff will work with our teams to help them navigate competition with masks.
Last night, I emailed the athletic directors of our opponent schools informing them of our decision regarding masks and asking them to join us in taking this additional safety measure to help protect our student-athletes. I am pleased to say that one of our TISAC peer schools has already responded with a pledge to be in masks during competition. We will continue to consult with other school leaders and our medical advisors as we continue to review and adjust our protocols.
All relevant public health agencies consider basketball a high-risk sport, and our protective protocols are more stringent for that reason. Due to the nature of the level of risk involved, the quarantining protocols — of an entire team in the event of a single positive case and the pausing or cancellation of the season in the event of transmission within a team — also need to be more strict than other sports this athletic season. The goal is to balance the benefits of athletic competition with our commitment to the health and safety needs of our entire school community.
Given the alarming increase of COVID-19 cases in North Carolina in recent days and the lack of available state or national data on player-to-player transmission, we have decided to postpone this week’s varsity and junior varsity games vs. Wesleyan Christian on Tuesday evening and GRACE Christian on Friday evening.
While we recognize these decisions require additional patience and flexibility from our student-athletes and families, they give our basketball teams the best chance to have complete seasons and reduce the chances of interrupting our on-campus learning for the entire student body. Please know that our number one goal is allow our student-athletes the opportunity to compete and represent their school on the court.
Durham Academy and DA athletics supports giving our student-athletes the option of participating on campus during our remote learning week following Thanksgiving. Our Upper School teams will have a normal week of practice with games at the end of that week. Our Middle School teams will offer optional skill-based sessions during the course of the week and will gather at least twice on Microsoft Teams for team meetings. The four Middle School basketball games scheduled vs. Cary Academy on Friday, Dec. 4, have been postponed. We will look to reschedule them for later in the season. Please be on the lookout for more team-specific information from your head coach.
Thank you for your continued support of DA basketball and DA athletics!
Director of Athletics