“A return to normalcy,” is a phrase that’s been thrown around sidelines and bench areas since the pandemic first interrupted sports activity across the nation last March, and new guidance from the authorities could be the next step in getting back to what was “normal.”
The Governor’s Office and the Department for Public Health announced Tuesday that there will be an easing on mask rules for outdoor sports and activities. Masks are now being suspended for “all outdoor sports and outdoor sport-activities in KHSAA member high schools and regulated middle schools” as long as the event/activity has less than 1,000 attendees. This includes coaches, uniformed players not in the contest, officials, administrators and fans.
The changes are effective immediately and include baseball, lacrosse, fastpitch softball, tennis, track and field, and bass fishing events with KHSAA schools. The new guidance also applies to schools and teams conducting spring football practices. Off-season outdoor activity by KHSAA schools in fall outdoor sports such as field hockey, cross country, golf and soccer, may be done without the masking requirement, if permitted by the school. Masks and face coverings can still be worn for COVID-related reasons.
The new guidance does not apply to sports and activities conducted indoors, such as archery, esports, cheer and dance competitions, and other practices conducted indoors. The change also does not apply to any permitted indoor activity in all other KHSAA sports such as basketball, wrestling, volleyball, etc.
Further changes and guidance, should they be made, will be announced as soon as possible.