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Masks No Longer Necessary for MA High School Spring Sports

Masks are no longer necessary for high school outdoor athletics in Massachusetts as of May 18.

After nine months of enforcing mask mandates for athletes across the Bay State amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association (MIAA) announced, effectively immediately, masks aren’t necessary for athletes participating in outdoor spring sports.

masksAccording to a report from The Patriot Ledger, wrestlers, if they are competing indoors, and boys volleyball still have to wear masks this spring. Although the MIAA is allowing participants in “low-risk” indoor sports to ditch the masks, provided there is sufficient social distancing, Duxbury Athletic Director Thom Holdgate, co-chair of the MIAA COVID-19 Task Force, noted that volleyball is a moderate-risk sport, so the rule does not apply, The Ledger reported.

The MIAA rule change comes shortly after Gov. Charlie Baker announced that all remaining COVID-19 restrictions would be eliminated by the start of Memorial Day Weekend.

Below is the MIAA press release.

The announcement by Governor Baker and the MA Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs (EEA) on May 17, 2021, regarding the removal of mandatory masks/facial coverings, was reviewed and discussed by the MIAA Sports Medicine Committee (SMC) Monday afternoon. The SMC voted unanimously to recommend the approval of May 17, 2021, EEA guidelines effective May 18, 2021.

This recommendation was forwarded to MIAA President Jeffrey Granatino, MIAA Executive Director Bill Gaine, and Task Force Chairs, Thom Holdgate, and Dr. Keith Crowley. Commissioner Jeffrey Riley and the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) also reviewed this recommendation. All constituents provided full APPROVAL.

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To clarify, this means:

— Athletes on spring teams in active play outdoors are not required to wear a mask/facial covering.

To read the full story from The Patriot Ledger about the MIAA lifting the mask requirements, click here