Wearing a surgical mask during hockey will not affect children’s performance, according to a new study from the University of Saskatchewan amid the fourth wave of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The study looked at the effect of mask use on youth hockey players between the ages of nine and 14.
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“COVID-19 spreads quite easily during hockey,” said lead researcher Phil Chilibeck.
“The players play close to each other, they breathe hard and the stadiums don’t have as much ventilation.”
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The researchers found that wearing a mask did not negatively affect the players’ performance on ice and did not have much of an impact on their physiology.
“A little lower oxygen levels in the muscle, but not enough to affect its performance,” Chilibeck noted.
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However, he said that some participants reported that they felt they were exercising more.
“If they wear masks while playing hockey, that’s something to consider. Maybe a coach wants to implement a shorter shift for those players, ”he said.
The researchers said they hope the study will encourage gamers, especially those who are not vaccinated, to take cover while participating in the game.