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Mask, Spectator Rules Expected As Maine Officials Develop Winter Sports Guidance

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Robert F. Bukaty
/
Associated Press

As schools in Maine wait for guidance around winter sports protocols, some officials anticipate that sporting events will not allow spectators and that masks will be required for all participants.

The Maine Principals’ Association Sports Medicine Committee met on Wednesday to consider feedback on winter athletics. Committee member Gordie Salls, who is the athletic director in Sanford, says that because most winter sports are played indoors, he expects masks are a must.

“It’s going to have to be with masks, and kids and coaches, everybody involved in those programs are going to have to work with wearing a mask,” he says.

Salls says the situation is more complicated for swimming and indoor track meets, which often take place at nonschool facilities such as YMCAs and colleges — meaning schools could have to work around their policies, too.

Even if mask and spectator rules are adopted, some sports may still not be possible, such as wrestling.

“I’m not very optimistic that wrestling is going to happen. Wrestling is in the higher-risk category, as far as sports are concerned. And I don’t see any way to make that safe, even with a mask on. Wrestling with a mask on would be difficult. I don’t know how they would keep it in place,” he says.

Heinz hopes that Nordic skiing events, which are held outdoors, might potentially be exempt from mask mandates.

The MPA, state agencies and other school groups met Thursday to continue their discussions.