ASAA cancels fall state championships, postpones other activities

Effective Oct. 13, the Alaska School Activities Association canceled state tournaments in all fall sports, and postponed other activities.

The dramatic action was taken as a result of increasing COVID-19 case counts in Anchorage and other parts of the state.

An Oct.13 press release from ASAA Executive Director Billy Strickland stated the following:

“The Alaska School Activities Association is announcing the cancellation of all 2020 fall state championship events. For activities currently in season, regions are allowed to complete their regional championships, if they are able to do so prior to Nov. 22, 2020.

“This decision applies to the following: Football, swim and dive, gymnastics, rifle, music, esports, DDF, and volleyball.

“In addition, the Alaska School Activities Association is announcing the postponement of all other activities until the adoption of a revised calendar.”

ASAA noted that the decision was based on three factors: consultation with the Alaska Department of Health and Social Services; the current status of COVID-19 case counts and the projections of the case counts increasing in Anchorage and other areas; and the impact of travel during the holiday season both into and out of Alaska.

The ASAA Board voted unanimously on the action after listening to Alaska chief medical officer Anne Zink, Department of Education commissioner Michael Johnson, and Division of Public Health physician Liz Olsen express those concerns in a morning meeting on Tuesday, Oct. 13.

The ASAA Mandate affects two Cordova’s high school squads that are currently practicing: the girls volleyball team, which has 17 participants this year; and the high school swimming team, which has four participants.

It also postpones the start of two other CHS activities: wrestling, which was scheduled to start Nov. 2, and basketball, scheduled to start Jan. 4.

At this time, travel is not permitted for CHS activities.

The memorandum from ASAA also noted that the board of directors is scheduled to meet again on Nov. 9.

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Dick Shellhorn is a lifelong Cordovan. He has been writing sports stories for the Cordova Times for over 50 years. In his Cordova Chronicles features, he writes about the history and characters of this Alaska town. Alaska Press Club awarded Shellhorn first place for Best Humor column in 2016, and third place in 2017 and 2019. He also received second place for Best Editorial Commentary in 2019. Shellhorn has written two books about Alaska adventures: Time and Tide and Balls and Stripes.