by Director of Athletics Chris Hartley
Hello everyone! As of today, there has been an update to the mask policy for athletes and coaches while in competition. Please read carefully, especially if you're an athlete, coach, or family member of a fall sport athlete.
Beginning today, all Lakeside athletes and coaches are required to wear masks at all times when competing against a Seattle Public School team. There are two exceptions to this rule:
- Cross country runners can remove their masks when they are racing;
- Swimmers and divers prior to entering the water may remove their masks;
WHY THE CHANGE?
The Seattle Public School District includes 108 schools with over 55,000 students. To offer the safest option for all of the athletes competing in sports, the district is requiring all teams to be masked up at all times. This is the only way that the public schools in our league can continue to compete.
The private schools in the Metro League (Bishop Blanchet, Eastside Catholic, Holy Names Academy, Lakeside, O’Dea, and Seattle Prep) are not required to follow the same masking policy. However, to show our support and fairness for our public school counterparts, the private school athletic directors have agreed to follow the mask policy when competing against public school teams. We want to stand in solidarity as we are all part of one league, trying to accomplish the same thing: a safe, fun, and complete fall season.
WHAT TO EXPECT
- Lakeside will provide masks for all coaches and athletes when competing. Coaches will monitor the team to make sure the policy is being followed.
- When Lakeside is competing against a private school team, we will abide by the mask policy we had been following up to this point.
- When Lakeside is competing in non-league events, we will follow Department of Health guidelines.
- We will follow the same masking policy that we have been following for practices (please note that some coaches might have players in masks to be ready for competitions).
- Seattle Public Schools will reassess this new policy in mid-October, and could state that schools can return to the mask policy that existed at the beginning of the season (the one we are all used to).
I know that masking is not on the top of anyone’s list of favorite things to do. Even so, I will ask that everyone agrees to abide by this new policy so that our season sees the least amount of disruption possible. None of us want to have competitions canceled due to COVID cases. And, by adopting this policy we are living one of the core values of Lakeside Athletics: sportsmanship.
I look forward to watching more exciting games, meets, races, and matches. If you're looking to come support our athletes in person, please find our full calendar of Athletics events here. If you can't make it to an event in person, we are still live-streaming most varsity events and some JV events! You can find the calendar of upcoming live-streams, updated weekly, here.
Follow Lakeside Athletics on Twitter at @LakesideLions.