Masks required for indoor fall sports at Boys and Girls Clubs of Greater La Crosse

Outdoor tackle or flag football athletes do not have to mask up

LA CROSSE, Wis. (WKBT) – Local schools and clubs are going ahead with sports programs and adapting COVID-19 protocols along the way.

Boys and Girls Clubs of Greater La Crosse athletic director Nick Bernhardt says mask requirements depend on which sports the kids play.

He says the club closely follows what area school districts are doing with their mask policies.

If you’re a parent watching your kids on the field, you know they are at risk of catching COVID-19.

So there are some COVID protocols to follow if your kid is playing in fall sports at the Boys and Girls Clubs in La Crosse.

“By working together, keeping things as consistent as possible is going to alleviate a lot of frustrations,” Bernhardt said.

Bernhardt says outdoor football athletes will not have to wear a mask, but those playing indoor volleyball will have to mask up.

“Obviously, it would be ideal for us to not have them wear it,” he said.

The club required masks for basketball last winter, which Bernhardt says is a more physical sport than volleyball.

“So we definitely think that for volleyball season, it won’t be that big of an issue,” he said.

It’s virtually impossible to socially distance in most sports, so how can it be done safely?

“Social distancing in the context of sporting events could look like mitigating risk or exposure outside of your team,” Gundersen Health System infection preventionist Meghan Buechel said.

Bernhardt says when coaching, the focus for the kids can’t be on the virus.

“I think that it’s something they don’t think about a lot,” he said.

It’s rather about enjoying the moment.

“Having a fun time with their buddies and feeling like they can be relaxed in that setting,” Bernhardt said.

That’s what sports are all about, even during a pandemic.

“This is where we’re at, and we continue to try and persevere through everything,” Bernhardt said.

Bernhardt says the club does ask kids whether they’re vaccinated because protocols can vary.

But he says they won’t require kids to get vaccinated.

Fans and parents are not allowed at indoor practices right now at the Boys and Girls Clubs.

The club has not yet decided what to do on game day.