Joplin Athletic Department announces new mask policies for athletes

Local Sports

JOPLIN, Mo. — With the city of Joplin’s face covering ordinance set to take effect on Saturday, the Joplin Athletic Department has released its policies for athletic activities moving forward.

Beginning Monday, athletes will be required to wear a face covering while entering and exiting the school building, in the locker room, in team meetings, the training room, gym, and weight room during anaerobic exercise.

They won’t be required to wear them during practices, scrimmages or competition or during aerobic exercises.

Athletes will be encouraged to hang their masks up in their lockers during time when they are not required to wear them to avoid contamination.

They’ll also be allowed to remove them during water breaks. The school’s athletic director says the policies are being put in place to keep everyone involved safe.

“Safety is the number one priority and it’s something that always drives every decision that we make,” said Joplin Athletic Director Matt Hiatt. “Obviously with athletics there’s an inherent risk that comes along with some of that so our job is to balance that risk and mitigate that risk. Not only with the virus, but with all sports. So that’s what we do every time we make a decision.”

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