MIAA Releases Updated Guidance on Masks and Youth Sports

Athletes, spectators and staff will no longer be required to wear a mask or face covering for outdoor sports in most cases

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The Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association released new mask guidance for youth sports in the state on Tuesday.

The new guidance, based on the state dropping its mask mandate on May 29, says that athletes, spectators and staff are not required to wear a mask or face covering for outdoor sports in most cases.

However, plenty of Massachusetts student athletes were seen on Tuesday choosing to keep their masks on.

Here's the full list of updated guidance:

  • Athletes on spring teams in active play outdoors are not required to wear a mask/facial covering.
  • Athletes when they are on the bench or in a dugout are not required to wear a mask/facial covering.
  • Athletes in low-risk sports when indoors where a distance of at least 14 feet or more is consistently maintained between each participant, are not required to wear a mask/ facial covering.
  • Spectators and chaperones, coaches, staff, referees, umpires and other officials who can social distance while outdoors, are not required to wear a mask/face covering.
  • Visitors, spectators, volunteers, and staff while indoors are required to wear mask/facial covering.
  • All athletes participating in high school sports are considered youth and fall under youth guidelines.

The new rules were approved by the MIAA's Sports Medicine Committee on Monday following Gov. Charlie Baker's announcement that the state's mask order and other COVID-19 restrictions would be lifted in time for Memorial Day weekend.

Kids are able to ditch face masks for outdoor youth sports, and many parents and coaches (though not all) are thrilled.

The recommendation was also reviewed by top MIAA officials and Jeffrey Riley, the commissioner of the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.

No changes were made to MIAA sport modifications other than the mask and face covering rules.

You can read the state's full, updated guidelines for youth sports here.

At a track meet in Westwood Tuesday afternoon, coaches told everyone that masks are now optional, but more than 50% could be seen still wearing there's, whether out of comfort, habit or something else.

Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker announced some big changes for coronavirus-related face coverings coming at the end of the month. Here is what you need to know about when vaccinated and unvaccinated people will still be expected to mask up.

Some parents said that keeping up with the rules will be a sport in itself.

"You have to ask yourself, 'Where am I?' And then, 'What are the guidelines for this school, this environment?' It's going to be our new normal and that’s okay," said one parent, who was wearing a mask.

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