Field Hockey Affected by Mask Mandate


Photo by: Caitlyn Begosa

Junior Riley Condon begrudgingly wears her mask as she practices for Mercy’s Varsity Field Hockey team to protect herself and her teammates. “I obviously wear [a mask],” said Condon. “I don’t mind wearing one on the sidelines, but when running and doing physical activity, I would of course prefer not to wear one.”

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer signed an executive order on Wednesday requiring high school sports in Michigan to wear face coverings. 

Sports like golf and tennis are exempt from wearing masks as they can maintain social distance, while close contact sports like volleyball and field hockey are required to wear face coverings.

“[The mask mandate] is not an ideal situation,” said Varsity Field Hockey Coach Kristina Sikora. “Nobody wants to be wearing a mask while they’re exercising.”

Combining masks and exercise presents a liability to athletes, as they tire out more quickly and have a harder time catching their breath.

“I think it is hard for a lot of sports with all the running,” said junior Riley Condon. “For field hockey to require us to wear not only mouth guards, but then a mask on top of it, that can be way more exhausting, and make it a lot harder to breathe.”

Although the mask mandate creates a new obstacle for the team, the majority of players are glad to be able to play this season.

“Overall, I am fine wearing [a mask] if that is the only way we can play,” said Condon. “I am just happy to be back playing again with my team.”