Impact of Mask Wearing During Sports

Sophia Filipowski, Staff Writer

2020 has brought many changes to everyone, especially athletes. DIAA required highschool sports to wear masks during practice and games. They said even if you have asthma or any breathing difficulty you have to wear a mask if you wanted to play. This was a major setback for every athlete, including myself. It is hard enough to stay conditioned and in shape, and now we have to wear masks on top of that. When asked Mary Kate Keegan said, “I think that masks are very challenging to wear while playing sports for many reasons. Even though they are required right now it is very hard for everyone to wear them especially those who have asthma or breathing difficulty. Even if you don’t have asthma, masks make it challenging to breathe so companies should be striving to make the best masks to prevent further problems for kids.” This is completely true, everyone is so excited sports are going on and love playing them, but finding a mask that is easy to breathe in and wearable is extremely hard. Ryleigh Finn agreed to this as well and stated, “In my opinion, masks have made a huge impact on this year’s sports season in both good and bad ways. Even though wearing a mask benefits my safety and everyone and around me, it makes it very hard to breathe, especially during field hockey because we are constantly running on the field. I also have asthma which makes it harder to breathe through the masks. As the season has gone on, I’m used to wearing a mask now and it doesn’t affect me that much, but in a perfect world I obviously wouldn’t want to be wearing a mask!!”

Playing with masks ensures your safety and everyone’s around you. Even though it is not the best way to perform your sport and show your talents, athletes are overcoming the circumstances and becoming used to playing with masks. Another athlete, Ella Kochert said the following about wearing masks, “At the beginning of the season, I found it quite difficult to play while wearing masks the entire time, because it was new for me. I had been playing other sports all summer where we didn’t have to play in masks, so it was a big change. It was really hard for me to breathe at first, but I think over time I was able to get used to it. I am glad we are wearing them during the games and practice because it ensures our safety, as well as our opponents’ safety.” She agreed it was hard to wear a mask at first, especially playing all summer without one, but she adapted and overcame the obstacle of wearing masks. She wanted to play sports safely and the only way she could was by playing with a mask. Morgan Hickey agreed to this opinion as well, “I would say that the masks do affect playing sports a little bit just because you’re not able to catch your breath as fast. you can’t really get air fast enough and a lot of girls on the volleyball team now have to use inhalers because they are working so hard and not getting the air they need. But overall, it was an adjustment that had to be made and everyone is now getting used to playing in them.”

All athletes are thankful for being allowed to play sports through the pandemic. They know the unexpected is going to be hard to adapt to, but they are going to push through the obstacles. Athletes love playing sports and being able to bond with others the best they can. We all thank the people that made it possible to play sports even if it means we have to wear a mask!