Northland High School Basketball Teams Talk About Difficulties With Mask Requirements
Coaches now have to think about how to deal with these issues, including how to maximize the time players have in dead ball situations.
DULUTH, Minn. – With the dialing back of restrictions from governor Tim Walz, the hope was that the same would be done for some restrictions on sports, specifically mask wearing. But that won’t be changing anytime soon. This week as teams begin official practices, we asked local basketball players for their reaction to that requirement.
“It’s really hard at first. Our athletic trainer told us it’s like running up a mountain. We’re adjusting. But if it means we get to play, we’re going to do it,” said Proctor guard Jessica Haedrich.
“It’s just another obstacle that we have to go through. We’ll get used to it. But all the guys just want to play and if this is what’s going to make it happen, then we’ll do it,” Duluth East forward Mattie Thompson said.
As for the coaches, they now have to think about how to deal with these issues, including how to maximize the time players have in dead ball situations.
“If we’re shooting offensive free throws, we’re going to take all four girls, bring them to the bench, tell them this is your opportunity to get a break for that second free throw. And then we’re ready to go. When they get water, they can take their mask off temporarily, maximize that time and then we’re right back in for the second free throw,” Proctor girls basketball head coach Matt Solberg said.
“We might give a few extra breaks here and there. We have more lines where kids can get maybe less reps than we’ve normally had. They have not complained whatsoever. Honestly, they’re just happy to be playing basketball right now,” said Duluth East boys basketball head coach Rhett McDonald said.
But there was some good news as sporting events will be allowed to have spectators, but must limit capacity to 25%. That means up to 150 fans in attendance for indoor sports and up to 250 for outdoor sports.