Poll: have you played in a mask, and if so, how did it go?

If you have played while wearing a mask, how did it go?

  • I got used to it and it wasn't a big deal

    Votes: 33 51.6%
  • I hated it, but it was better than not playing at all

    Votes: 11 17.2%
  • It was too much of an impediment and I won't play if I have to do it in a mask

    Votes: 20 31.3%

  • Total voters
    64

Cindysphinx

G.O.A.T.
I am quickly gaining experience with this topic.

In my county, the requirement is to wear a mask while playing indoors at county facilities. "Youth" are exempt, and anyone with a "medical condition" that precludes wearing a mask is exempt.

The result of this has been chaos. In one of my seasonal time groups, we just decide week-to-week how strictly to adhere to the mask requirement. Some people care a lot about mask wearing; some people don't care at all. Some play with a very loose mask hanging below the nose. Some wear the mask under the chin. My approach is I have a cloth mask that I wear, but if I run a lot during the point I will pull it down to get more air. I also have a plastic frame that keeps the mask away from my face enough, but then of course it isn't doing anything. And it is super bizarre to have a mask mandate that applies to my court while there is a youth clinic also happening where 20 teenagers do not have to wear a mask.

As you might imagine, wearing a mask makes it harder to breathe. The one thing I didn't anticipate is that wearing a mask makes it hard to communicate. For some reason, you feel muzzled and don't make calls like "Bounce it," "Switch," "Mine" and suchlike. And if you do call out an instruction, your voice is muffled so your partner may not hear. The irony is that wearing a mask during a point increases the chance you and your partner will collide or get closer than necessary.

Most of the people in my group have rolled with it, but not one lady. The facility has three courts in a wing, and we have the middle court. The foursome on the adjacent court do not wear masks at all. Our lady was very agitated by this, so I suggested we just move over one court. For some reason, she did not wish to do this and instead seemed spooked and uncomfortable the rest of the time. She then withdrew from our group because she wasn't comfortable with others nearby who won't wear a mask.

I also take lessons at a private indoor facility. The pros have to wear a mask (which they wear very loosely); customers do whatever they want because no one can force them to wear a mask because they might have a "medical condition," and you cannot challenge someone about their medical condition. Some people have called the county to complain about the violation of the mask mandate, but the county can't do anything when their inspectors show up and the pros are in compliance but the customers all seem to have medical conditions. Me, I wear a mask under my chin during my lesson, and I pull it up when I need to come to the net and talk to the pro. I do this not because I am worried about Covid, but I just wouldn't want to get the owner in trouble with the county and get the place closed down or something.

Finally, I am also playing USTA league this fall. Because of the mask mandate in the county, few people signed up for league this fall. The league then moved all matches to the neighboring county, which does not have a mask mandate for indoor tennis. I played my first match there the other day, and it was fine. We wore masks in the bathroom and common areas, socially distanced on changeovers, and that was it. Instead of the usual 9 teams playing ladies 7.5 combo, there are only three.

The league still has a silly rule that all four players in doubles have to bring a can of balls and not touch other people's balls. Everyone ignored that rule and played with one can of balls.

Cindy -- who ignored the sign on the door of the ladies locker room that said one person inside at a time, 'cause when you gotta go, you gotta go
 

Nostradamus

Bionic Poster
Last Friday, updated sports recommendations in Connecticut required the use of masks while playing tennis. Our club has just announced it will enforce this rule, even on the outdoor courts. I expect other clubs and our local USTA leagues will follow suit. I breathe hard and sweat a ton when playing at full intensity, so I think this is going to be a big problem for me. But I haven't tried to do it yet. Who has actually tried playing in a mask, and how did it go?
Guys, yes with Covid cases exploding all over USA, you are advised play tennis with Mask on. However, in order for it to give you protection(Good protection) , you have to wear the N95 mask. Wearing the regular surgical mask really doesn't cut it. this is a medical fact.

This is what you have to wear while playing tennis.

 

blablavla

Legend
Guys, yes with Covid cases exploding all over USA, you are advised play tennis with Mask on. However, in order for it to give you protection(Good protection) , you have to wear the N95 mask. Wearing the regular surgical mask really doesn't cut it. this is a medical fact.

This is what you have to wear while playing tennis.

the advise that I read, from an actual employee in one of the Water Sport Federations claimed the opposite.
it's sufficient to play in a surgical mask, and going for a mask with higher degree of protection might be dangerous, as they might limit the air inflow too much...
 

Nostradamus

Bionic Poster
the advise that I read, from an actual employee in one of the Water Sport Federations claimed the opposite.
it's sufficient to play in a surgical mask, and going for a mask with higher degree of protection might be dangerous, as they might limit the air inflow too much...
if it is so dangerous, how does Doctors and nurses work with N95 on All day long ?? they wear N95 cause that is what offers real protection. Why don't you wear the surgical mask and walk into the restaurant, you will smell the food Immediately..... that is cause food smell is coming right thru. and Virus particle is smeller than that even
 

Ronaldo

Bionic Poster
I coached about 6 hours a day in a mask hitting included. My biggest problem was wearing a glove on my left hand I couldn't hold as many balls.

J
Even with two pockets and a hoodie pouch? Wore two racquetball gloves, held at least a dozen balls. However, haven't played or practiced indoors in three years
 

1HBHfanatic

Legend
-i no longer wear surgical/latex gloves, cross contamination on surfaces was driving me crazy (what did i and/or did not touch?!?!?)!!! o_O
-i opted for carrying/using small pocket size disinfectant bottles
-after/during tennis and/or other indoor/outdoor activities, ill apply often and as needed
 

J011yroger

Talk Tennis Guru
Even with two pockets and a hoodie pouch? Wore two racquetball gloves, held at least a dozen balls. However, haven't played or practiced indoors in three years
When feeding I'll usually pull 4-5 balls out of the cart at a time, in hitting lessons I will hold 7-8 balls in my left hand while hitting, takes too long to fish balls out of your pockets all the time; just grab 8 balls, and then turn around to the cart and reload.

J
 

Dartagnan64

G.O.A.T.
if it is so dangerous, how does Doctors and nurses work with N95 on All day long ?? they wear N95 cause that is what offers real protection. Why don't you wear the surgical mask and walk into the restaurant, you will smell the food Immediately..... that is cause food smell is coming right thru. and Virus particle is smeller than that even
Doctors and nurses don't wear N95's all day long. Just for brief periods of aerosol exposure. We take them off and put on surgical procedure masks as soon as we leave the patient.

Sweating in an N95 will break the seal and limit it's effectiveness to that of a surgical mask.

And tennis is a socially distanced activity in a huge area, why are people even thinking masks would add much additional protection. The very environment of tennis is protection enough. Only time would be group drills indoors where I could see it being an additional layer of protection.
 

Nostradamus

Bionic Poster
Doctors and nurses don't wear N95's all day long. Just for brief periods of aerosol exposure. We take them off and put on surgical procedure masks as soon as we leave the patient.

Sweating in an N95 will break the seal and limit it's effectiveness to that of a surgical mask.

And tennis is a socially distanced activity in a huge area, why are people even thinking masks would add much additional protection. The very environment of tennis is protection enough. Only time would be group drills indoors where I could see it being an additional layer of protection.
you will wear the mask as you were ordered to do so
 

sureshs

Bionic Poster
When feeding I'll usually pull 4-5 balls out of the cart at a time, in hitting lessons I will hold 7-8 balls in my left hand while hitting, takes too long to fish balls out of your pockets all the time; just grab 8 balls, and then turn around to the cart and reload.

J
You know what they say about people with big hands.
 

OnTheLine

Hall of Fame
With the new rules here in NV which is masks on the court while playing outdoors, singles or doubles .... I guess I will find out .... that is, if I can get my shoulder to fully cooperate with playing while the rule is still in place.

I do not think this is a smart rule. If we were playing indoors, I would have no problem with it. But outside?

USTA NV confirmed it yesterday, effective today.
 

time_fly

Hall of Fame
With the new rules here in NV which is masks on the court while playing outdoors, singles or doubles .... I guess I will find out .... that is, if I can get my shoulder to fully cooperate with playing while the rule is still in place.

I do not think this is a smart rule. If we were playing indoors, I would have no problem with it. But outside?

USTA NV confirmed it yesterday, effective today.
Is that a new USTA rule, or a state rule?
 

OnTheLine

Hall of Fame
Is that a new USTA rule, or a state rule?
Yes and Yes and Yes and No

First Gov new gov orders with new restrictions announced on Sunday ... they vaguely stated masks required at all times when "near" people from another household indoors or out

Then USTA Nevada came out with their rules that stated must play with masks while on court on Monday night effective yesterday

Then this morning at 7am, USTA Nevada reversed guidance with a sign off from governor's office that masks are NOT required while actively playing tennis outside

We will see what individual clubs do .... my club is now not requiring masks while actively playing .... others may.
 

tennisjon

Professional
I did my stress test wearing a mask and having to run for 13 minutes. At that point, I needed deeper breaths and my mask sorta got caught in my mouth. I needed to pull my mask down to take 3 deep breaths to compensate and I was fine. Where I coach in college all players in the conference will be required to wear a mask in practice and in matches. My only problem is when I wear a mask and I wear my glasses, it fogs up quickly. Not sure what can be done? After having the courts close for a month earlier this year, I would gladly wear a mask if it means I can continue to play tennis. While I prefer not to wear masks at all, it is not that big of a deal to help speed up getting life back to normal.
 

loosegroove

Hall of Fame
I did my stress test wearing a mask and having to run for 13 minutes. At that point, I needed deeper breaths and my mask sorta got caught in my mouth. I needed to pull my mask down to take 3 deep breaths to compensate and I was fine. Where I coach in college all players in the conference will be required to wear a mask in practice and in matches. My only problem is when I wear a mask and I wear my glasses, it fogs up quickly. Not sure what can be done? After having the courts close for a month earlier this year, I would gladly wear a mask if it means I can continue to play tennis. While I prefer not to wear masks at all, it is not that big of a deal to help speed up getting life back to normal.
You need a mask that has a rigid wire at the top so it creates a seal and your exhaled breath isn't going directly into you glasses. I found the Outdoor Research mask seals quite well. The implementation of the included filters is a bit rudimentary (it's difficult to get the filters to sit properly and stay that way if taking it on and off) but overall I think the mask is pretty solid. And you can choose to use the mask without the filters.
 

Cindysphinx

G.O.A.T.
I did my stress test wearing a mask and having to run for 13 minutes. At that point, I needed deeper breaths and my mask sorta got caught in my mouth. I needed to pull my mask down to take 3 deep breaths to compensate and I was fine. Where I coach in college all players in the conference will be required to wear a mask in practice and in matches. My only problem is when I wear a mask and I wear my glasses, it fogs up quickly. Not sure what can be done? After having the courts close for a month earlier this year, I would gladly wear a mask if it means I can continue to play tennis. While I prefer not to wear masks at all, it is not that big of a deal to help speed up getting life back to normal.
Get one of those plastic Mask cages I described. Keeps it from sucking into your mouth and absorbs less sweat. I also find the cloth masks with four pleats work best because you can manipulate them better with the cage.

The indoor tennis facility where I take lessons changed it’s policy. Must wear a mask while playing. If you have a medical condition that prevents you from wearing a mask, you need to stay home.

Seems fair. They had a member test positive. No reason to think he contracted it there or spread it there, but there’s no way to know. I used a paper mask and my cage for private lessons and I was fine.
 

J_R_B

Hall of Fame
The masks are a definite no for me. PA now mandates all people in any indoor gathering that is not a single household need to be masked. That is interpreted by many clubs (and the USTA) as masks are mandatory during play indoors. The USTA sent out an email that said this about a month ago. I tried to play in a mask and couldn't keep my glasses from fogging. I then tried the special sports mask that we got for my son's soccer tryouts, and that helped a lot with the fogging but was incredibly uncomfortable, so if the mask mandate is strictly enforced, I'll just take a break until outdoor season. The guys in my Friday contract court have already said that no one cares about masks while playing, and the club has said that they will not enforce it on private contract courts (but will for club-sponsored activities including clinics and USTA matches).

There is a medical exception to the PA mandate, so about a week ago, the captain of my mixed team sent an email that more or less said that if you don't want to wear a mask, just claim a medical exception and no one can question that under HIPAA rules. About 3 days later, we got another email from the USTA LLC that said the mask mandate will be enforced at all USTA indoor matches and please do not claim a medical exception if you don't have an actual medical condition. LOL, I think our captain got busted.

Does blindness from foggy glasses count as a medical condition?

I don't want to sound like a virus hoaxer because I am not. This is clearly the worst respiratory pandemic the country has faced in 100 years andsomething we need to take very seriously, and I have no problem wearing a mask to the store or other indoor gatherings (and I plan to get the vaccine when it is available to me to finally get out of this whole situation, although I'm not high risk in any way, so that may be a while), but enforcing a mask mandate during tennis is complete overreach and unnecessary. The odds of transmitting the virus during a tennis match, even indoors, is infinitesimally small.
 

Dartagnan64

G.O.A.T.
but enforcing a mask mandate during tennis is complete overreach and unnecessary.
Sometimes I think the entire reason for some of the restrictions is entirely about discouraging people enough so that they just stay home. Without actually telling them to stay home.

The whole way you get this virus under control is just have less people out and about interacting with each other. Make every activity crappy and no fun and people will just give up and stay home.
 

J_R_B

Hall of Fame
Sometimes I think the entire reason for some of the restrictions is entirely about discouraging people enough so that they just stay home. Without actually telling them to stay home.

The whole way you get this virus under control is just have less people out and about interacting with each other. Make every activity crappy and no fun and people will just give up and stay home.
But exercise is good for your immune system and tennis is very low risk (particularly singles), so they should be encouraging people to do that and discouraging people from activities that are high risk, although a recent study found the highest risk activity is food shopping, which is deemed essential...
 

J011yroger

Talk Tennis Guru
Sometimes I think the entire reason for some of the restrictions is entirely about discouraging people enough so that they just stay home. Without actually telling them to stay home.

The whole way you get this virus under control is just have less people out and about interacting with each other. Make every activity crappy and no fun and people will just give up and stay home.
Yes, because people are idiots. They argue that golf and tennis are super safe, and what's the first thing they do when golf and tennis are allowed? They show up with beers and snacks and hang out.

J
 

WildVolley

Legend
Sometimes I think the entire reason for some of the restrictions is entirely about discouraging people enough so that they just stay home. Without actually telling them to stay home.

The whole way you get this virus under control is just have less people out and about interacting with each other. Make every activity crappy and no fun and people will just give up and stay home.
This is almost certainly the actual reasoning behind the nonsensical restrictions. What our rulers don't consider is that by constantly lying about risks they undermine the whole public health system. The manifest dishonesty along with the hypocrisy of public officials' private behavior means that they aren't in a position to complain when people ignore them and mistrust them.

We still don't have an outdoor tennis mask mandate in California, but the Governor just killed flex-league again last week. I've basically given up on USTA at this point. It is less convenient, but I'm able to schedule matches with a lot of league players on my own.
 

zipplock

Hall of Fame
This is almost certainly the actual reasoning behind the nonsensical restrictions. What our rulers don't consider is that by constantly lying about risks they undermine the whole public health system. The manifest dishonesty along with the hypocrisy of public officials' private behavior means that they aren't in a position to complain when people ignore them and mistrust them.

We still don't have an outdoor tennis mask mandate in California, but the Governor just killed flex-league again last week. I've basically given up on USTA at this point. It is less convenient, but I'm able to schedule matches with a lot of league players on my own.
Make your own mini ladder/league. No registration fees :)
 

WildVolley

Legend
Make your own mini ladder/league. No registration fees :)
I could, but that would take time and motivation!

Basically at this point, I'm just happy to be able to arrange matches with people who will be competitive with me or better than I am. I get to scratch the competitive itch with fun matches. Less expensive than playing league, but takes more time trying to get schedules to match up.
 

zipplock

Hall of Fame
I could, but that would take time and motivation!

Basically at this point, I'm just happy to be able to arrange matches with people who will be competitive with me or better than I am. I get to scratch the competitive itch with fun matches. Less expensive than playing league, but takes more time trying to get schedules to match up.
It may be a little work on the front end, but I'll bet you'd be surprised how many people would be interested. Also, we have no idea how long this is going to continue...
 

sureshs

Bionic Poster
Our club is not closing and no masks are required during play. That is as of today. Neighboring county has ambulances with patients inside waiting for hours outside hospitals due to lack of beds. All non-emergency surgeries canceled. We have ICU sharing agreements with them, so things may change here soon. So far no impact on tennis. I am playing tomorrow.
 

J_R_B

Hall of Fame
Because of the Governor's order last night, our club is now closing tomorrow until (at least) Jan 4.

My gym, on the other hand, declared themselves an essential business and said they are staying open, even though the governor's order specifically names gyms as one of the businesses in the mandatory shutdown. I think they are actually trying to get into a legal battle over this.
 

Dartagnan64

G.O.A.T.
This is almost certainly the actual reasoning behind the nonsensical restrictions. What our rulers don't consider is that by constantly lying about risks they undermine the whole public health system. The manifest dishonesty along with the hypocrisy of public officials' private behavior means that they aren't in a position to complain when people ignore them and mistrust them.

We still don't have an outdoor tennis mask mandate in California, but the Governor just killed flex-league again last week. I've basically given up on USTA at this point. It is less convenient, but I'm able to schedule matches with a lot of league players on my own.
I think they are trying to make things palatable to the most people possible. It can't be easy to get people to stay home by themselves. If people see that things are "open" but not worth the effort to do, then they stay home and maybe just walk the dog.

The big problem is that most of the spread is people having others over but the measures to curb that would be an unpalatable invasion of privacy. So you accept its going to happen and you close all other socialization avenues down that you can control. Sadly that tends to fall on restaurants and the entertainment industry. But all disasters affect certain businesses more than others. Pandemics affect businesses requiring large groups of humans. Droughts affect farmers and ranchers. It is what it is.

I've been playing tennis at our club and every time I play in my men's doubles group I get invited for a beer afterwards. I give them an "are you kidding?" look and politely decline. I look after cancer patients, I am not going to the pub with anyone. But it's that kind of behavior that turns tennis from a low risk activity to an incredibly high risk one. And it's why doubles tennis was closed down in our province, masked or unmasked. It wasn't the activity. It was the socialization after.
 

sureshs

Bionic Poster
I've been playing tennis at our club and every time I play in my men's doubles group I get invited for a beer afterwards. I give them an "are you kidding?" look and politely decline. I look after cancer patients, I am not going to the pub with anyone. But it's that kind of behavior that turns tennis from a low risk activity to an incredibly high risk one. And it's why doubles tennis was closed down in our province, masked or unmasked. It wasn't the activity. It was the socialization after.
hehe 4 of us doubles players get together at a bench in the park outside the tennis courts and have a beer after the match. We sit a little apart but not necessarily masked. But tomorrow we are probably not doing that since the situation has gotten pretty bad in the neighboring county and one of the guys is worried.

None of us are doctors though.
 

sureshs

Bionic Poster
Who will be the better masked player: Federer or Nadal? I think Federer, because Nadal's physically intensive style of playing will be hampered more with a mask.
 

Dartagnan64

G.O.A.T.
No it will be OK from Monday when vaccination will start in the US
Stay crazy my friend.

4 of us doubles players get together at a bench in the park outside the tennis courts and have a beer after the match
I'm happy to chat outside with people at 6 feet distance. That's fine. It's going into pubs that I think is madness if we want to get this thing turned around.
 
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