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ASHSAA Sports: Is it suspended or cancelled?

Yesterday was Judgment Day in this year’s 2013 DOE American Samoa High School Athletic Association (ASHSAA) sporting division, with ASHSAA Director Tumua Matu’u notifying Samoa News about their final decision — the result of yesterday’s meeting — is to suspend all ASHSAA sporting events for two weeks.


However, according to a letter obtained from the Department of Education Director, Vaitinasa Dr. Salu Hunkin Finau, addressed to the ASHSAA Board after their suspension decision was made, she wants the ASHSAA competitions to be “suspended indefinitely”.


In her letter to the board, she writes that while she appreciates “their motion to suspend all the ASHSAA competitions for the next 2 weeks,” she feels “because students were injured, perhaps you need to extend the suspension days a bit longer due to the mood of the community and especially the mood of the schools and students involved.”


Vaitinasa writes, “I would like to recommend the following for your consideration because students were injured in the last 2 games:


1.            All ASHSAA Competitions be suspended indefinitely until responsible students and parents take full responsibility for the injury of students and damages to DOE property;


2.            All ASHSAA competitions be held either during the day after school but not to extend beyond 6pm or Saturday daytime;


3.            Students identified as responsible for causing any incidents/harm to other students and/or damages will be suspended from school;


4.            Parents whose children were responsible for any incidents/harm or damages will be legally charged measures through Court;


5.            Schools whose students were identified as causing the incidents, harm to others or damages to school property will be suspended from the competitions;


6.            That volleyball and basketball competitions be held at SHS where it is central for outlaying schools and closer to DPS and Hospital.


The DOE director asks the Board to “please respond as soon as possible — proceed to suspend all competitions indefinitely until further notice.”


Vaitinasa then seems to note that the decisions by the ASHSAA board are recommendations and not a final solution to the issue:


“Thank you for your recommendations in response to these incidents,” the letter states.


In the emergency meeting held yesterday by the ASHSAA Board, a solution for the safety all students, as well as to prevent and avoid any further attacks similar or far worse than the Tafuna High School’s “school bus attack” that sent students and teachers to the LBJ Hospital this past Tuesday evening, was the target.


In the statement released to Samoa News by ASHSAA Director Matu’u, she states that “due to recent incidences that have caused an encroachment upon the safety of our student athletes and staff members, the Board has moved to suspend all ASHSAA competitions for the next two weeks.”


She wrote, “competitions will commence or continue on September 30, 2013.” Furthermore, Matu’u warned, “future incidences violating the safety of our students athletes and staff members will move the Board to consider the cancellation of every single ASHSAA sporting competition for the remainder of the 2013 - 2014 school year.”


Samoa News received the ASHSAA director’s statement first, and the letter responding to the ASHSAA decision from the DOE director late yesterday afternoon.


As it stands, it is unknown if the ASHSAA season has been cancelled until further notice, or if the ASHSAA Board decision for a ‘2-week suspension only’ is in effect.


Samoa News does note that all sporting events as of today, including ASHSAA football games are not being played. For how long, is still up in the air.


Requests by Samoa News for clarification were not immediately answered.