Masks shouldn’t be needed for sports

Masks impact performance


Michael Hoikka

Senior Blake Anderson drives to the net looking to make a basket. Athletes are not required to wear masks during practices and games, but they are recommended by the athletic department and MSHSL.

Michael Hoikka

As COVID-19 rates go up, talks of athletes wearing masks in indoor sports have become more popularized. I was not thrilled when I first heard this news, because as a person with asthma it’s already hard enough to breathe while playing sports.

Last year, we had to wear masks for hockey, and this made it very challenging to breathe and catch our breath, which negatively impacted our performance on the ice. Because of this, I was relieved when I heard that for the 2021-2022 season we will not be required to wear masks.

However, with rising cases, there is a chance that we could go back to wearing masks, which I am strongly opposed to. 

During sports, breathing is a very important part of your performance, so when I get to the bench after a hard shift, I take deep breaths to regain energy so I can be prepared for the next shift. If we were required to wear masks, it would be much more difficult to regain my energy and I wouldn’t be as prepared for my next shift. 

Another downside to implementing masks is that many athletes are not used to wearing masks, and this would affect our performance greatly. 

Athletes wouldn’t be used to the masks while performing during sports at all, so bringing that mandate in right would not be fair to us at all. If they made the mandate at the beginning of the season it would be different, because we would have time to adjust to it.

Lastly, I think we should not wear masks because athletes will simply not follow the rules and it will be pointless. Most athletes don’t want to wear the masks, so when they’re playing and it’s hard to breathe they’ll be more inclined to take it off, exposing themselves to everyone, so the masks won’t serve its purpose.