Does Playing Sports With a Mask Affect Your Play?


Emely Olmedo, Staff Writer

As we are finally able to play sports in a pandemic after so long, players have some covid rules they have to follow. Obviously, number one rule is having to wear a mask at all times which may be difficult to wear as you play the sport and hard to adjust to. The big question is, does wearing a mask affect your ability to play? Let’s see what different players have to say about this.  

“It affects our breathing and it gets harder when we are running dances over and over again,” said WBHS Dancer Jade Harbin “I normally have to take a quick break to breathe just because the mask takes up a lot of my breathing while dancing and the most important part of dancing is being able to breathe and feel the movement.” 

Wearing a mask during dance is difficult for dancers since they move and are constantly having to catch their breath while maintaining a look of artistic effortlessness. Another athletic team with a lot of cardio is soccer, and they have additional challenges due to masks. 

“Playing with a mask affects me because I can’t see what is below me,” said men’s soccer player Allen Olmedo. “In soccer, you are required to look down at the ball, so the mask being in the way makes it even harder.” 

To help with their breathing, soccer players are given a one minute mask break in the middle of each half. Some teams have developed creative solutions to make masks less bothersome during practice and play.

“It makes it hard to breathe, but as a team, we brought plastic guards to make it easier to play and breathe,” said women’s basketball player Morgan Bellamy. “It keeps the mask off our face, but yet still does its use.” 

The women’s basketball team uses disposable masks with a clear guard under to allow the players to be more comfortable while playing, and the players are given a mask break at every quarter at the half of each. Some athletes are taking a different approach to adjust to the change.

“It was pretty tough to adjust at first, but just like we all have been doing, I adapted,” said women’s lacrosse player Nikki Waterbury. “I would wear my mask anytime I would go out for a run by myself, practice by myself, or go to a gym alone to overcome it.” 

Players have learned to get used to playing with a mask whether with adaptive tools, mask breaks, or individual training with a mask. Though a mask may affect their play a tad bit, players have been given the opportunity to still play for their season, so their general consensus is that the masks are worth it.