IHSA lifts mask restrictions for summer sports

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Jack Larson, Staff Writer

The IHSA’s Board of Directors met on Monday, April 12, to hold their regularly scheduled meeting, in which they made some crucial decisions regarding summer sports.

According to IHSA.org, the Board of Directors made the decision to lift mask restrictions for low-risk sports, such as track, baseball, bass fishing, softball, and tennis, but kept the rules for high-risk sports like soccer and football.

“Basketball season was tough running up and down the court wearing a mask,” said junior track athlete Chris Boose. “They accommodated us well, but I’m excited to hear about that I don’t have to wear a mask as much anymore. It gives me a feeling that everything is starting to go back to normal.”

While masks are fully functional devices that protect us from spreading the virus, it can feel tedious for athletes when they have to wear them outside in 70 degree weather or more, especially for sports with lots of running involved.

“Masks don’t really affect my sport,” said senior baseball athlete Conner Paulson. “I feel like they’re unnecessary to wear during games and practices when most of the time, we’re plenty far apart from each other except for when someone gets on base.”

Summer athletes are certainly relieved that restrictions are loosened, however, the officials are still required to always wear masks, alongside athletes sitting on the bench, or participating in high-risk sports.

“It’s certainly a different experience,” said soccer varsity player Jason Hernandez. “It can feel a little annoying at times, but once you really get into the game you barely notice that it’s there.”

Most athletes, like Hernandez believe that masks are a necessity, and being cautious is a must, but the IHSA removing some of their restrictions just feels like a somewhat return to normalcy, which at the end of the day, is what all athletes want.