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Delaware's high school athletes will be required to wear masks for indoor practices and games under guidance that will be issued by Governor Carney.

The announcement comes as Delaware issues a universal indoor mask mandate for K-12 schools.

Most of Delaware's fall high school sports are played outdoors, including football, field hockey, boys soccer, and cross country, but there is one indoor sport: volleyball.

Carney emphasized that this mask mandate, aimed at indoor activities, is specifically attached to the mandate in the rest of the building.

"One of the things I think we won't see is masked athletes outdoors. One of the things we've learned is outdoor spaces are way more safer," he said. 

Carney pointed out the relative success of DIAA completing its sports calendar last year, even when he wasn't sure all of the sports could be played safely, especially ones played indoors.

"Indoors, a little bit different, right? We even did wrestling with masks on, if you remember, last year. I was very skeptical last year -- how do you do wrestling with a mask on? -- but our kids did it.

"The children--the students--they adapt more easily to mask wearing than we do as adults, frankly. Sometimes as adults, we want to impose our reservation on children who have been much more flexible in wearing masks."

Carney added that his decision does not preclude the DIAA, or any member school, from instituting an outdoor mask mandate, but they would not be able to have a looser indoor rule.

The DIAA Board of Directors holds its monthly meeting Thursday; currently, there is a discussion around COVID-19 listed on the agenda.

The governor did not address whether these rules would extend to club or any other level of sports though that may become more clear when the official order is announced.