We are petitioning the NHIAA to rescind the dangerous decision to require outdoor sports athletes to wear masks while competing in high level physical sports.
We the undersigned, parents, coaches and students believe that wearing masks during strenuous outdoor athletic activities can impact both performance and the health of athletes. Wearing masks can inhibit the oxygen intake and in some athletes potential create dangerous hypoxic situations, induce sports related asthma episodes or adversely affect physical performance in some student athletes.
There is no evidence that playing outdoor related sports can increase or spread Covid-19. Furthermore, the NHIAA has not provided any studies or evidence that Covid-19 is spread by athletes participating in outdoor related sports. In fact, the NCAA (National Collegiate Athletic Association) does not require competing athletes to wear masks during play. No International sporting organizations, including the Olympics, require competitors to wear mask while competing. Nor do professional sports require mask while competing. If it is safe for collegiate and international athletes to compete without wearing masks, then it is safe for our kids.
This decision by the NHIAA has been made solely based on a politically correct policy and fanned by controversies sparked from the fall sport seasons. Some school districts in the fall mandated student athletes wear masks or not play. Those schools refused to let their student athletes participate in playoffs against schools that did not have mandatory mask policies. As such those schools cried foul and demanded the NHIAA mandate masks for all schools during competition. Thereby taking away the rights of individual schools to determine what is best and safest for their student athletes.
Why are you forcing high school athletes to do something no other athletes are being asked to do? Why are you potentially creating an environment where athletes might become adversely affected by wearing a mask and end up with a tragic situation? The NHIAA is making decisions that can affect students health based off of contradictory information with no concrete medical evidence or studies that validate their claim for the need to have masks worn during play.
With the declining Covid-19 infection rates coupled with the increased numbers of those over the age of 16 being vaccinated and the CDC revised guidelines, it is more clear than ever, that the need for masks during competition is not necessary.
We the undersigned respectfully request you rescind this mandatory mask mandate and allow our student athletes to compete safely and to the highest physical level possible.