Inter-scholastic sports pushed back to January

Posted on Dec 06 2021
Grace Christian Academy Lady Eagles against Hopwood Lady Hilitais

Grace Christian Academy Lady Eagles against Hopwood Lady Hilitais in action in this file photo from the recent IT&E Interscholastic Girls Middle School Basketball League at the Marianas High School Gymnasium. (ROSELYN B. MONROYO)

The CNMI Public School System’s athletic programs have been postponed until mid-January following the recent community spread of COVID-19 on Saipan.

Gov. Ralph DLG Torres issued a directive closing schools in late October after three COVID-19 cases were detected at two PSS campuses. As a result, PSS athletic program director Nick Gross immediately put on hold interscholastic competitions island-wide.

Affected competitions were the Co-ed Elementary Grass Volleyball (6v6) at the Oleai Sports track inner field, the Middle School Girls Volleyball League (6v6) at Marianas High School, High School Girls Basketball (5v5) at MHS Gym, Co-ed Middle School Badminton at MHS Gym, Co-ed Middle/High School Aquathon at Guma Sakman, and Boys High School Soccer (8v8) at a still to be determined venue.

Gross hoped PSS’ athletic programs would resume following the end of Torres’ original 10-day closure of local schools as early as Nov. 17, but because of the continued rise in local COVID-19 cases, PSS has decided to just resume its inter-scholastic sports competitions early next year.

“Athletic Programs intends to open safely in mid-January 2022 but things are exceptionally fluid as we work through doing our part to support community mitigation efforts. Fingers crossed for the resumption of sports and other extra-curricular activities. Our community is certainly ready to resume these meaningful components of whole child development,” Gross told Saipan Tribune.

In a Dec. 1, 2021 memo sent to public and private schools that are part of PSS’ Athletic Programs, Gross clarified the postponement of sports competition despite the return for face-to-face instruction.

“Due to PSS’ re-opening of campuses for face-to-face instruction over the next two weeks, Athletic Programs, in consultation with our partner sports federations, has elected to postpone the resumption of interscholastic sport until January 2022. We believe this is the safest course of action while our community navigates the current COVID-19 outbreak. We will attempt to preserve both the second and third quarter sport opportunities through a condensed season scheduling January through March 2022,” he wrote.

The proposed sports PSS’ Athletic Programs will resume during the January-March timeframe are co-ed volleyball and co-ed basketball for elementary, girls volleyball, boys volleyball, girls soccer, and co-ed badminton for middle school, and girls and boys basketball, boys soccer, and co-ed badminton and outrigger canoe for high school.

Mark Rabago | Associate Editor
Mark Rabago is the Associate Editor of Saipan Tribune. Contact him at
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