October 20, 2020
Dear Parents and Students,
DoDEA, we have a longstanding commitment to interscholastic sports, and we recognize the joy and excitement our students and parents find in our sports program. This recognition makes it especially difficult to bring you some very disappointing news.
After a great deal of deliberation among school leaders, commands, military public health and medical professionals, we have determined that allowing contact sports for the winter season places the health of our student athletes at risk and may well contribute to the spread of the virus.
Contact sports include activities that involve close, sustained contact, lack of significant protective barriers, and a high probability that respiratory particles will be transmitted among players. Basketball, Competitive Cheer, and Wrestling fall into the category of these high risk sports, and are not approved in DoDEA under HPCON B or HPCON C.
We are committed to reopening our sports programs as the health situation changes. Student needs, building configurations, Health Protection Levels (HPCON), installation conditions, and local government regulations must all be considered when making decisions. In the interim, we will continue to provide students with skill support and appropriate conditioning opportunities. Our coaches and athletic programs will provide resources to assist in safeguarding the well-being, scholarships, and eligibility of our student athletes. There may be opportunities to add additional athletics opportunities of low and moderate risk, with mitigation efforts in place.
I understand the disappointment that you may experience with the cancellation of contact sports this winter. You have my promise that these decisions were not made lightly. Our primary focus, in the midst of this global pandemic, must be the health and safety of our student athletes and their coaches.
I hope to have better news for you as we look toward spring. If you would like to review DoDEA Guidelines for Reopening Athletics, Extracurricular & Physical Activities & Music, you may find them at our Guidelines for Re-Opening Athletics/Extracurricular Physical Activities Document.
Dr. Dell McMullen