Update (Monday, March 15, 11:03 a.m.) — Wesley Early, KOTZ – Kotzebue
The Alaska School Activities Association canceled this year’s state basketball and cheerleading tournaments due to concerns over the coronavirus. They had previously been postponed.
In a statement released Saturday, the ASAA says “MarchMadness Alaska is possibly the largest statewide gathering each year and ASAA would not be acting responsibly if we were to host this year’s event.”
The move comes a day after Gov. Mike Dunleavy ordered schools closed through March 30. Health officials have advocated people practice social distancing, limiting physical contact with others.
The state tournament had originally been scheduled for the week of March 15, with teams traveling from across the state to compete in Anchorage.
As Alaskans prepare for the first confirmed case of coronavirus in the state, the state’s high school athletic department is taking safety precautions.
In a statement on their website, the Alaska School Activities Association wrote that the ASAA/First National Bank state basketball and cheer tournaments have been postponed until further notice.
The ASAA has also canceled the Alaska Association of Student Governments Spring Conference to be held at Mt. Edgecumbe High School in Sitka.
The ASAA says that “the decision on whether or not to cancel the basketball and cheer championships will be made at a later date.”
To prevent the spread of coronavirus, the ASAA also recommends that anyone over the age of 60, anyone with underlying health conditions or respiratory issues should avoid travel to this weeks regional and conference tournaments.