Letter: High school sports and mask mandates

Published: 11/18/2020 12:01:14 AM

It was a nice article by Tim O’Sullivan on Nov. 15, “Forced to forfeit,” about the impact of COVID-19 infections on high school athletics, particularly tournament play.

Included was a line about Newmarket High School soccer teams forfeiting playoff games because their school mandates mask use and an opponent refused to wear masks during play. The team that refused, Portsmouth Christian Academy, does not require mask use during games. The PCA athletic director used New Hampshire Interscholastic Athletic Association’s guidelines in their decision. NHIAA allows masks during play, but leaves their use up to the schools’ leadership.

Disrupted play due to infection seems very different than one school taking advantage of another school’s safety guidelines and moving along in the playoffs. How many times has this disappointment occurred in 2020 school sports year?

If the NHIAA (and Gov. Chris Sununu) lack the courage to mandate mask use, perhaps guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the American Academy of Pediatrics will suffice. For youth, both groups advocate the wearing of masks when in close proximity of others. Our children deserve this protection.



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