This article originally written by Digital Content Intern Yusra Asif. Asif, is a senior media communications major at the University of Delaware, working as the associate news editor at The Review and a broadcast news reporter at the Student Television Network at UD.
When Delaware Gov. John Carney issued latest state guidelines on COVID-19 stating that a mask is not required for moderate to low risk sports and adult amateur sports while playing, it sparked a debate among members of the Delaware Interscholastic Athletic Association (DIAA).
Dr. Bradley Layfield, principal of Sussex Tech, proposed the possibility of completely removing face masks from the play.
“Having looked at these statistics for several years, unfortunately there are more student-athletes in a year’s time that die from cardiac arrest on the field than have probably been seriously ill or passed away from COVID-19,” Layfield told WBOC.
The proposal however, was denied as 37 member schools reported only one injury caused by wearing a face mask while playing, as reported by WBOC. 6 out of 9 Henlopen Conference Schools informed the DIAA that they want to keep masks mandatory. Other members of the board such as Dorell Green, the superintendent of Red Clay Schools had the opinion that with only five weeks left in the season, changing the rules at this point might not have much of an impact.
“We are going to have implications (for example) where Salesianum made the decision they are going to require masks for their student-athletes and then what does that mean for the visiting schools,” Green told WBOC. “Just seems like a lot of disruption to the system.”
The DIAA ruled that highschool and middle school athletes will have to continue wearing face coverings on the field, except for golf. Golf student athletes are permitted to remove their face masks when active on the course if they are not in close or direct contact with another person.