Alabama High School Athletic Association Explains Why Adventist Team Game Wasn’t Moved From Sabbath
HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WAFF/Gray News) – A new letter explains why the Alabama High School Athletic Association decided not to move the time of a Seventh-day Adventist high school basketball team tournament game , which led to the abandonment of the team.
WAFF reports that AHSAA responded to a letter from Governor Kay Ivey that expressed concerns about the organization’s handling of the situation involving Oakwood Adventist Academy in Huntsville.
The team qualified for the Round of 16 last week, but when Oakwood learned they had a 4:30 p.m. game time on Saturday, the school asked AHSAA and the other teams in the regional tournament if they would pass them at 7:30 p.m. afternoon game, which falls after the Sabbath, since it was after sunset.
AHSAA denied this request.
“When God created the earth, on the seventh day, he rested,” said senior team captain Raynon Andrews. “He calls us to rest that day and give Him that day. I’m not going to play that day no matter what, because it’s bigger than basketball.
AHSAA executive director Alvin Briggs responded to Ivey’s letter, saying that by becoming a full member of the association, the team had agreed in 2017 to play in all playoff games without a petition. or forfeit if they fell on a Friday or a Saturday. Briggs added that the association had simply confirmed the agreement made by Oakwood.
“Granting an exemption or making an exception for any reason, whenever a request is requested, would be chaotic,” Briggs wrote. “Member schools write the rules and expect AHSAA to govern their rules and policies consistently with public and private members.”
AHSAA backed its decision after the team’s forfeiture drew national attention.
“Regardless of the news reports and the public narrative that was created, AHSAA merely upheld the agreement reached when Oakwood became a full member,” Briggs said.
Although Oakwood Adventist Academy forfeited, the team traveled to the tournament at Jacksonville State University to cheer on the two teams who offered to trade times with them.
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