The Stevenson athletic department decided that to keep their athletes safe, they need to be wearing masks during practice, team lifts and during games depending on the facility rules.
The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) recently made rule changes regarding mask for all the college divisions. They stated, “All parties must wear mask/face coverings and maintain 6 feet of physical distance. Universal masking and physical distancing are the rule except in the competition or medical care areas. Medical staff should follow strict hand sanitization, especially during sessions with student-athletes.” The NCAA also spoke about the recent rule changes before and after games to help with less contact between players, officials, medical staff and coaches. For more information about the recent rule changes by the NCAA click here.
The majority of the Stevenson teams that compete are only required to wear masks during practice and during warmups before games, as well as wearing them on the bench at all times. Depending on their opponent, teams may have to wear masks during their games depending on the rules of that athletic facility. Stevenson also made many changes to their athletic gear in order to have masks in some sports teams’ helmets.
Trinity Barcless, senior, criminal justice major and current member of the women’s ice hockey team, discussed the recent changes that the NCAA made. Barcless spoke about wearing a mask during a game and how that requirement depended on the rink where their games were being played. “It was definitely a change wearing a mask during our games. The most common thing was that we would get excessively hot and our recovery time was much harder considering we needed to wear a mask on the bench,” said Barcless. She also spoke about how her team was used to wearing masks during practice because they had them built into their helmets.
Stevenson will continue to keep their athletes safe by following the COVID-19 and NCAA guidelines and sports will hopefully return to normal before the next sports season.