MIAA urges Mass. sports teams to avoid games and practices during Monday’s solar eclipse

MEDFIELD, Mass. — Monday’s solar eclipse will be a sight to see across New England, but the governing body of high school sports in Massachusetts is urging schools to take precautions so athletes don’t suffer “extreme harm” from the celestial event.

The Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association sent an advisory to its member schools this week, alerting them to the potential risk of athletes attempting to take in the eclipse during games or practices.

“You may already be aware of the danger of looking at the sun during the eclipse,” said the MIAA. “Outdoor activity, practices and games should be approached with extreme caution as unavoidable exposure to the harmful intensity could happen accidentally with extreme harm to athletes.”

“On behalf of the sports medicine committee, we suggest avoiding competition and practice during the time of the eclipse for all athletes. Inadvertent exposure is a very high risk during the eclipse time,” said the MIAA.

The organization noted that Major League Baseball teams have recently adjusted their start times later, after the eclipse, for the safety of their players.

“On behalf of the entire MIAA Sports Medicine Committee, we suggest you use extreme caution on April 8 and have a great spring season.”

The MIAA advisory was signed by Dr. John Jardine and Dr. Lee Mancini, who are the chair and vice-chair of the MIAA Sports Medicine Committee.

“Please instruct students not to look directly at the eclipse without proper eye protection,” said the MIAA.

Local schools are heeding the advice.

The superintendent of Medfield Schools sent an advisory to its school community that Medfield has moved all of its sporting events to 4:30 p.m. on Monday “as recommended by the Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association.”

The eclipse is expected to begin in the Boston area at about 2:15 p.m. on Monday and end at around 4:30 p.m.

The Boston area won’t see a total solar eclipse like parts of northern New England.

“To ensure everyone’s safety during the eclipse viewing, we will be providing safety glasses to all students and staff,” said Superintendent Jeff Marsden. “These glasses were purchased through the use of grant funds, the Blake PTO, and a private donor.”

“These glasses are specifically designed to protect the eyes from the harmful effects of directly viewing the sun,” said Marsden. “All individuals participating in the eclipse observation must utilize these safety glasses to prevent any potential eye damage.”

“Additionally, we encourage parents/guardians to discuss the importance of following safety protocols during the eclipse with their children,” said Marsden. “Please remind them never to look directly at the sun without proper eye protection, even during an eclipse when the sun may appear less bright.”

This is a developing story. Check back for updates as more information becomes available.

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