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Portland's Leading Local News: Weather, Traffic, Sports and more | Portland, Oregon | KGW.com

OSAA asks health leaders to reconsider mask requirement for high school basketball

OHA’s latest guidelines for high school athletes require basketball players to wear masks during games unless they can prove they've been fully vaccinated.
Credit: KGW

PORTLAND, Ore. — The Oregon School Activities Association (OSAA) and school district leaders in Central Oregon have asked the Oregon Health Authority (OHA) to reconsider recent mask requirements for high school athletes and allow basketball players to play games without masks, regardless of their vaccination status.

OHA’s latest guidelines for high school athletes require basketball players to wear masks during games unless they can prove they've been fully vaccinated against COVID-19. Those guidelines were established for all indoor sports, with an exception for athletes in sports were masks were 'not feasible' such as swimming, gymnastics, water polo and wrestling. Regarding wrestling, the OHA said the masks could be a “a potential choking hazard.” 

Basketball was kept off the list of exceptions.

KTVZ reports that the Crook County School District superintendent and school board reached out to state health officials and asked them to allow basketball players to play games without wearing masks.

State Rep. Vikki Breese Iverson, R-Prineville, wrote a letter to Oregon Gov. Kate Brown and voiced her concern about students wearing masks during “cardiovascular intense sports.”

KGW reached out to OSAA Executive Director Peter Weber about the mask requirement for basketball. He said, “While seeking clarification regarding the changes to mask requirements in wrestling last week, we asked for a reconsideration of the current requirement for masks in basketball and were informed there were no changes at this time.”