SPRINGFIELD, MA (WGGB/WSHM) -- On Friday, the state's outdoor mask mandate is no longer in effect, but masks are still required for high school athletes - indoors and outdoors. Also Friday, the Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association (MIAA) approved modifications for a spring wrestling season to move forward.
We’ve reached out to several school districts and decisions on how the wrestling season will go forward this year are still being determined.
The MIAA voted on Friday 17-0 to approve new guidelines for boys and girls wrestling. The sport, which is normally played in the winter, was postponed due to a rise in COVID-19 cases.
“So the MIAA decided that we would hold off on wrestling season and try to promote it for this spring,” said Dwayne Early, athletic director for Springfield Public Schools.
Under the new guidance:
- Masks are to be worn at all times by players, coaches, and spectators.
- Wrestling rooms are permitted, but social distance guidelines must be followed.
- Locker rooms can be open at 50 percent.
However, what isn’t allowed:
- Multiple school meets and tournaments
- Shoulder-to-shoulder weigh-ins
We wanted to know how school districts are gearing up for the now spring match-ups. Early told Western Mass News that in anticipation of the MIAA meeting, the school committee and health officials met earlier this week.
“We decided that what we will do is schedule COVID testing for the student-athletes next week…the wrestling student-athletes,” Early explained.
The school committee will continue the conversation next week to best determine how the wrestling season will play out.
“It’s a little bit more high contact and continual contact…Working in abundance of caution, trying to keep student-athletes as safe, but yet, give them an opportunity to participate in the desired sport,” Early added.
We are continuing to hear back from other districts after this announcement. The Ludlow school district said they have decided not to hold a wrestling season this year. East Longmeadow told us they are taking the decision to a vote next week