By AlaskaWatchman.com

High school soccer players and wrestlers are now compelled to take mandatory COVID tests each week in order to play high school sports. The decision comes down from the Alaska School Activities Association board of directors.

On April 12, the executive board unanimously approved new rigorous testing requirements, which were not in place during the recent basketball state championships. Under the new policy, all wrestlers, soccer players and coaches will be forced to take weekly and sometimes twice weekly nasal swab tests. Volleyball players and athletes in other sports are not under the new mandate.

Under the new ASAA policy, Alaska’s high school wrestlers and soccer players must take weekly COVID tests in order to compete for a state championship.

Local districts are free to ignore ASAA’s policy, but it comes with a steep price. Failure to adhere will exclude athletes and teams from competing for statewide championships, which ASAA oversees.

The only exemptions ASAA provided are for people deemed “fully vaccinated” or those who can prove that they were diagnosed with COVID-19 within the past 90 days. All other athletic participants, including managers, coaches and referees are bound by the ASAA policy in order to vie for a state championship.

Despite rigorous testing, the ASAA will only allow athletes to unmask during actual competition or practice. Other than that, ASAA requires masks “at all times for all athletes, players, coaches, spectators and anyone else engaged in organized sports activities both indoors and outdoors.”

During actual competition, the ASAA policy says wrestlers “may remove masks only during active matches.” Additionally, the mask policy states that “all participants must maintain six-foot physical distancing when not on the mat.”

Athletes engaged in “high intensity” sports, such as soccer, are not required to mask if they can “generally maintain six feet physical distancing at all times.”

If an athlete tests positive for COVID, ASSA requires them to enter quarantine. They cannot resume competition until the eighth day of quarantine, and only if they have a negative COVID test result by that day. However, even if they do test negative, they must still wear a mask when around others and monitor symptoms for 14 days.

If there are no testing sites available for a quarantined athlete, they can end their quarantine on day 11 if they do not exhibit any COVID symptoms.

School districts around the state began implementing the new testing policy this week.

The Mat-Su district, which is Alaska’s second largest, is testing athletes at school once a week with rapid antigen COVID tests. A medical waiver sent to parents notes that the district could be required to report positive test results directly to the State of Alaska. Parents also must agree to release the district and the test provider from legal claims, demands or actions that might result from the testing or disclosure of test results.

Reese Everett is associate superintendent for Mat-Su schools. He said each district had a choice of whether to follow ASAA’s new policy.

“In order for any Mat-Su wrestlers or Mat-Su soccer players or soccer teams to be able to compete at the state tournament we were required to have a testing protocol in place,” he said. “Testing is going to open up opportunities for our student athletes to not just have to compete against Mat-Su Borough School District teams because so many other places in the state require proof of a negative covid tests in order for teams to be able to come and safely compete.”

When asked about the fate of athletes who did not want to get tested, Everett said that is their choice.

“Where we’re at right now is that these (elective sports) are different than a student attending school – that idea of a free and public education,” he said. “These are optional opportunities for our students and ASAA has been clear and if our students want to be able to participate, then they need to follow this protocol, and if they choose not to, then that is obviously their prerogative.”

TAKING ACTION

  • To contact the Alaska School Activities Association board members, call (907) 563-3723 or email board@asaa.org.

Click here to support the Alaska Watchman.

Athletic board bans Alaska students from competition unless they submit to weekly COVID tests

Joel Davidson
Joel is Editor-in-Chief of the Alaska Watchman. Joel is an award winning journalist and has been reporting for over 20 years, He is a proud father of 8 children, and lives in Palmer, Alaska.


17 Comments

  • Michael S Totten says:

    I can see high school sports going away. Great job ALASKA!

  • John J Otness says:

    Then this Board need fired!!!!!

  • G Aleution says:

    Obviously this board does not believe the US Constitution is for real or exists any longer. They do not recognize natural law the property right of God-given, not government-given parental ownership rights to protect and guide as primary relationship of physical parents with their physical progeny. The kids are underage so the Constitutional rights they are proximate with they have by parental control. This agency does not understand they have no authority under the US Constitution. Ask them to point to the sections of the US Constitution that grants them any authority at all and grunt. There is no such authority at all. ALL authority for an emolument is written and expressed in English in the US Constitution or it doesn’t exist. I believe they are ultra vires and unconstitutional and should be dimissed. Until the US Constitution is adopted by this group no kid of mine would be in any association with them. SORRY KIDS.

  • Proud Alaskan says:

    More stupidness
    If your not on the mat, six feet apart and mask up.
    But while your wrestling it’s ok, how oxymoron is that.
    Most of these kids are saying are you kidding me.
    If they could , they would not participate in this madness.
    Most of these kids want, a scholarship in sports.

  • G Aleution says:

    Why not take time like Jamie Madison did to deeply immerse yourself in learning the truth about our Constitution. What is cool about the MAGNA CARTA? What about the Aziz of Clarendon? What is Lee’s Declaration of Independence? Are adults still trying to whittle away and hide truth about our country – That it was founded on freedom of religion. Can you prove it me? How and where do they hide that in recent documents they gave you study but you don’t look anyway. What are the Annals of America? What books did George Washington write? If you read them would you be smarter?

  • G Aleution says:

    Who was Patrick Henry? What did he say? Why did he say it? Is that what got us our republic? Do we have it.

  • G Aleution says:

    It took 28 years of hard book learning and nation building to be as smart as the founders of our great Constitution. Now read some books by Zbigniew Brezezinski. He has a pretty cut and dried approach to writing. You have to pay attention. He worked in several administrations of Presidents in our day. What did he say years ago. America, your foes in the revolution never gave up. They still want the same stuff they fought you for then. Everything you’ve got. Remember when the Chinese guys appeared in Alaska a few weeks ago without our invitation? Who was the party that brought them? The Democrats. IS there anything at all you kinda like about Alaska? I wonder if anyone else would. I don’t believe the democrats care much about what you think about things. Just be nice. “K”. WE’ll get you wrestling. We’ve got these sticks here with nano filaments and we will be sticking them places to see if you are carrying dead but unfindable particles forever.

  • G Aleution says:

    Another issue is the one on agency. Government of the people, by the people and for the people; right? So when does a self-appointed agent have more authority than the principal man? Never. Say I have a 1000 agents in attractive uniforms, let’s say a self-appointed agent(cy). They have more authority than the principal man right because there so many? It’s taken alot of men’s money to keep them going is that ok by the Constitution? No. It would be repugnan. We the people can never delegate or diminish the people’s authority and rights. That would be repugnant. Are health AGENTS now sovereign? And the Constitution stepped down by virtue of the bio-agent prepared in Wuhan? No. ‘Tisn’t. Republic still stands. So parents just say: “no. I’m responsible for my kid’s health not you. No testing. If my kid is sick he stays home” or whatever you want to say. But you are free men not agents of yourself. They are agent wanna-bees. Are they acting outside their authority now with more authority than we the people who according to the US Constitution are sovereign? GOTTA LUV THE CONSTITUTION. Seriously.

  • OAPsSkweez says:

    G Aleution: KUDOS to you!

  • Steve Peterson says:

    Control! Control! Control!

  • Michael Alan says:

    How are ASAA members elected? How do we get rid of them?

  • Ross Perrine says:

    These Bolshevik Bureaucrats are going too far with this and need to be stopped! Let’s use some common sense without going overboard with these measures! If a kid is sick they should stay home; other then that we need to let our children go to school, play sports, and have a life! This isn’t about protecting children’s health anymore, it’s about programming kids to accept their new role as serfs in the Neo-Feudal Lords Control Grid!

  • Alberto Brandolini says:

    Really? Dox who exactly? Who are the people you specifically want to threaten tough guy?

  • Jon and Ruth Ewig says:

    No board is above our Constitution and Individual Rights guaranteed to every one of these athletes/citizens!!! Where are the coaches and the First Amendment lawyers and the courts to stand firm against this bullying by the leftist??

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