Delaware bans drones at state athletic events

February 17, 2015 /
Delaware’s athletic association will ban drones from state events, fearing that the devices could harm athletes or spectators.

DroneDelaware is among the first states to take action regulating drones, and the FAA does not yet have a strict policy on how and where they can be used. The Delaware Interscholastic Athletic Association wanted to make sure it had something in place to keep people safe.


The DIAA was concerned about the safety of fans, officials, players, coaches and anyone else who might be injured if an out-of-control drone came dropping out of the sky and struck someone.

There was also the unknown factor of who the drone operator was, and what his or her purposes could be. 

Also at issue was the DIAA’s financial agreement with the NFHS Network for broadcast rights of post-regular season events, and whether a camera-carrying drone taking video overhead would violate any copyright laws.

DIAA Executive Director Kevin Charles says the organization needs to meet with its attorneys to discuss options on how to respond if a private citizen is flying a drone over a state tournament event. 

According to the FAA, there are flight restrictions and limits to where a drone can travel when it comes to security and safety risks, such as airports, military bases, law enforcement activities, and when presidential movement is involved, among others.

Some schools use drones in football practices to help in game planning, while others have used them during competition to get game film. It’s likely more states will begin adopting their own policies in the absence of federal guidelines.

According to the article, Indiana has banned drones completely and Ohio’s athletic association implemented a policy regulating their use.

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