MHSAA trying to enforce mask mandate

The Michigan High School Athletic Association is getting complaints about athletes letting their mask stay below their nose or on their chin.
Published: Feb. 17, 2021 at 5:00 PM EST
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LANSING, Mich. (WILX) - Think about how often your mask slips at the store.

Now imagining running up and down a basketball court.

“Most of the players are making a good faith effort to keep their masks up. With the nature of the game, it doesn’t stay up sometimes,” said high school referee Eric Bach.

The Michigan High School Athletic Association is getting complaints about athletes letting their masks stay below their noses or on their chin.

“Most of the time we either get a call or an email, or we see some photos of video from the media where someone’s mask isn’t on properly,” said Geoff Kimmerly with the MHSAA. “We’re following up on them as soon as we hear about them.”

He says they’re calling school as soon as they hear even one example of a player or coach not wearing their mask the right way.

But they can’t be at every game every night.

“We’ve authorized our officials to step in and let athletes know to pull their masks up, and if there is an issue, to send them to the bench,” said Kimmerly.

“We’re constantly reminding during deal ball periods; free throws, inbounds, that sort of thing,” said Bach.

Bach tells News 10 it’s just another thing they have to look out for on the court.

“Most people understand it’s necessary if we want to continue doing our jobs. Nothing about this pandemic is convenient.”

And he reminds us many refs are risking their well-being to make sure the games can be played.

“The least that the players can do is wear their masks, the least the coaches and fans can do is wear their masks, and the least we can do is remind people when the guidelines aren’t being completely followed,” he said.

Both Bach and Kimmerly don’t see the mask issue getting worse in high school sports, but they’re prepared to do whatever it takes to tell others to mask up.

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