Mass. wrestling team moves mats outside, athletes compete without masks

A Massachusetts high school used a creative solution to allow wrestlers to compete before the school year ends.Needham High School was able to host Natick High School for a wrestling match on Tuesday by moving the mats to the outdoor tennis courts.Under the new face mask guidelines from the Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association, the wrestlers did not have to wear face masks during the match because it was held outside.The Needham High wrestling team had not competed since February 2020, so it was a significant match for the seniors who thought they wouldn’t have the opportunity to wrestle again.”I was super doubtful the whole year. I thought: ‘No way it could happen,'” said Needham High senior wrestler Alex Shifman. “I am definitely super, super excited to be out here and wrestling again.”The MIAA voted Tuesday to remove its mask mandate for student-athletes competing in outdoor sports. Coaches, referees and spectators no longer need to wear masks outdoors, but they must be at least 6 feet apart in order to have that ability.In addition, the MIAA says participants in low-risk indoor sports, where at least a distance of 14 feet is maintained, can also compete without face masks. Student-athletes competing in any other indoor sport must still wear a face covering.”That’s something that everyone I don’t think expected to happen this spring,” said Dan Lee, Needham High’s athletic director. “We are still asking the coaches and kids to follow the other modifications and protocols by still wearing masks on buses and inside.”Lee says not wearing a mask is a personal choice for student-athletes, so anyone who does not feel comfortable can continue wearing one.Massachusetts COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations and fatalitiesMassachusetts vaccination progress

A Massachusetts high school used a creative solution to allow wrestlers to compete before the school year ends.

Needham High School was able to host Natick High School for a wrestling match on Tuesday by moving the mats to the outdoor tennis courts.

Under the new face mask guidelines from the Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association, the wrestlers did not have to wear face masks during the match because it was held outside.

The Needham High wrestling team had not competed since February 2020, so it was a significant match for the seniors who thought they wouldn’t have the opportunity to wrestle again.

“I was super doubtful the whole year. I thought: ‘No way it could happen,'” said Needham High senior wrestler Alex Shifman. “I am definitely super, super excited to be out here and wrestling again.”

The MIAA voted Tuesday to remove its mask mandate for student-athletes competing in outdoor sports. Coaches, referees and spectators no longer need to wear masks outdoors, but they must be at least 6 feet apart in order to have that ability.

In addition, the MIAA says participants in low-risk indoor sports, where at least a distance of 14 feet is maintained, can also compete without face masks. Student-athletes competing in any other indoor sport must still wear a face covering.

“That’s something that everyone I don’t think expected to happen this spring,” said Dan Lee, Needham High’s athletic director. “We are still asking the coaches and kids to follow the other modifications and protocols by still wearing masks on buses and inside.”

Lee says not wearing a mask is a personal choice for student-athletes, so anyone who does not feel comfortable can continue wearing one.

Massachusetts COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations and fatalities

Massachusetts vaccination progress

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