Irregular Regulations

A discontinuity of masking protocols within the MIAC changes the name of the game to general confusion… no matter what sport is playing.

Cathryn Salis, sports editor

As the men’s tennis team rolled up to their match at Bethel’s tennis courts, the Bethel team groaned. They snatched their masks from their discarded spot on the ground and slipped them on their face with little care if they were on correctly or not. The Pipers, already masked as they got out of their cars, were the cause for this sudden change in attitudes towards mask usage.

The Hamline Athletics Department has chosen to enforce a mask policy for all athletes during sporting competitions, which differs from many other MIAC teams. For many schools, sports without close-contact, such as tennis, have decided to relax their mask mandates on players.

“I’ve heard other teams being like ‘why do we have to wear a mask right now?’,” first year tennis athlete Elijah Krause said. 

While the COVID-19 vaccine is being distributed widely across the state of Minnesota and all people over the age of 16 are eligible to receive it, the pandemic is still affecting every aspect of our lives and Hamline has chosen to recognize that.

Mask mandates, while odd or unusual for many athletes participating in competition this semester, did not come as a surprise to many Hamline athletes. There has been a state-wide mask mandate since July of 2020 and Hamline has complied with this requirement. 

“It’s through the local regulations. Like in the cities, it’s the mask regulation, but like Saint John’s that are outside of the cities, they have different regulations.” Josh Lynch, first year track athlete, said. “That’s caused a few teams to pull out.”

While this requirement for athletes has not been the easiest adjustment, many athletes find that the longer they compete with them, the easier they are to get used to. Being this far in the season, most athletes don’t even notice them anymore.

“I don’t really mind it too much anymore. I hope for it to be over, but I’m fine for as long as it needs to be there,” Lynch said.