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Parents want N.C. High School Athletic Association to get rid of mask requirement for outdoor sports

Updated: Apr. 27, 2021 at 5:51 PM EDT
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CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - Some parents of athletes are hoping the CDC’s change in guidance could mean a change for their children.

Right now, high school athletes are required to wear a mask during practice and games.

Some parents said they are worried about how that could affect their breathing as they’re running.

Many of these parents, but not all, say they mainly want their choice back. They say it’s their children so they should make the decisions on their health.

Baseball parents say, as more people get vaccinated, masks shouldn’t be as much of a concern, especially since many baseball players can remain distanced during portions of the game.

“I’d assume umpires are vaccinated, coaches are out here taking temperatures. People are doing what they should be doing so our kids can play,” said Bob Mack whose son plays at Butler High School.

Mack said social distancing is built into baseball.

“Some of these spring sports like tennis, are probably the most socially distanced sports of all time. It just seems like it doesn’t make a heck of a lot of sense,” Mack said.

Other parents are concerned about the possible health risks of wearing the mask during play.

“I think yesterday it was 80 when they started playing. Covering your face completely in that kind of temperature. It’s not good for you,” said Elaine Young, whose son plays in Cabarrus County.

The North Carolina High School Athletic Association requires masks for practice and games in most situations. But these parents are quick to point out that some sports, like track, have exceptions.

“What the difference between my child sprinting from home to first and a track kid running 100 meters. They’re all running. They all need as much oxygen as they can possibly get,” Young said.

Many of these parents are part of the same group that petitioned state leadership to allow more fans at games.

Many of them are now working to get the mask requirement changed as well. Dozens of parents have sent in multiple emails.

Many of them say they haven’t heard back from anyone with the state or the high school athletic association.

“Were hoping that Que Tucker and the NCHSAA are listening to parents. Ultimately these are our kids who we get to make health choices for, not them,” Young said.

WBTV News reached out to the NCHSAA as well for a comment but did not get a response.

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