MIAA requires HS basketball, other indoor winter sports to wear masks | MCU Times

MIAA requires HS basketball, other indoor winter sports to wear masks

High school sports

The guidelines will be reassessed on January 15, 2022.

MIAA masks

Newton North High Abigail Wright and Riley Raker block Needham High Ellie Streeper. The mesh mandate for indoor HS athletes in the fall continues into the winter. Photo by Matthew J Lee / Globe staff

Massachusetts high school athletes participating in indoor winter sports in the 2021-22 season must wear masks, according to the Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association (MIAA).

The new guidelines follow the rules for the fall season 2021 and apply to coaches, athletes, school staff and spectators.

“This information is in accordance with the Department of Primary and Secondary Schools [DESE], and determined by the Commissioner for Education, It wrote MIAA CEO Bob Baldwin in a letter to the member schools. “Continue the practice of communicating with member schools that may or may not have reached the 80% vaccination limit.”

DESE will reconsider its guidelines on January 15, at which time the MIAA will decide whether to allow athletes to reveal. Until then, the guidelines remain in place at any facility, whether it is school-affiliated or not.

“Although masking guidelines may vary at off-campus facilities and locations, treat practices and competitions as school events and adhere to (state) guidelines.” wrote Baldwin. “Furthermore, be respectful of the policies and expectations put forward in school districts and communities, and continue the practice of communicating with member schools that may or may not have reached the 80 percent vaccination limit.”

The guidelines were released at a time when positive COVID tests have again reached a flood mark since February. A Boston area doctor told Boston.com that the rising caseload is “alarming,” especially as Thanksgiving approaches.

“The situation is worrying given the rising numbers, the rising wastewater data and all the indoor events that are going to happen in the next few weeks,” said Dr. David Hamer.

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