To wear or not to wear?

The debate of mask-wearing during sports continues


(Courtesy of Laura Laughlin)

Varsity boys basketball team jumping up to shoot the ball, masks below the nose and chin.

By Lindsay Schaffter

The fluorescent colors from the TV across the room shine everywhere as an NBA basketball game comes on. You see players moving across the screen and the voice of the sports announcer announcing the play-by-play. As you look around, you also notice one thing that is very obvious: a majority of the players don’t wear their masks. Many people look up to the NBA basketball players as inspiring models, so you wonder, how many people copy their actions from the court?

Many Huntley High School students show their support and love for the NBA and other sports games, whether that be on their shirts or talking about the last game or tournament played on TV. Additionally, it is also carried into how they play in a high school setting.  

The HHS boys basketball team consists of 106 players. A majority of those players on the team when playing do not wear their masks, and if they do it is below their chin and nose. If you look on the Huntley Instagram page, pictures of them with their masks not being worn correctly are posted everywhere. As much as it may be required for players to wear their masks, it is difficult for the coaches to enforce this during a game. 

“During a game I am trying to look at 10 different guys, so masks aren’t the main priority,” basketball coach William Benson said.

It is also known that when playing a sport in general, wearing a mask can make it hard to breathe. This makes the use of wearing masks while playing dangerous. 

Another sport that makes it difficult to wear your mask is wrestling. When the players are tackling each other to the floor and landing different moves on each other, the mask can get caught. If this were to happen, it could cause a choking hazard and become deadly for the players. 

“We’re one of the few sports that doesn’t require masks when we are actually physically rolling on the mat,” wrestling coach Erik Lachel said.

It is also known though that wrestling is a sport that requires extreme close contact. One of the many rules in and out of school has been to keep distance from people ranging from 3 to 6 feet due to COVID-19. In wrestling though, that isn’t being done and the masks do not have to be worn. 

If we look at it from a student’s point of view, you hear of the challenges it takes to wear the mask while playing. One of the girls on the varsity volleyball team spoke about the difficulties. 

“It’s harder to run back and forth with it at some points and it normally ends up under your chin anyways,” junior Julia Jolly said. 

As you look at the difficulties in just these three sports alone to wear your mask you wonder, are the masks causing more harm than good?