ISA issues statement on rugby riot, players ejected from league

A NEW DIRECTION: The new logo and teams to compete in the newly formed Interscholastic Sports Association, or ISA, league were introduced during a short ceremony at the Guam Department of Education headquarters at Tiyan on Thursday afternoon. Norman M. Taruc/The Guam Daily Post

The Guam Department of Education Interscholastic Sports Association (GDOE ISA)  met on Nov. 9, regarding the alarming behavior displayed at a rugby game held Saturday, Nov. 5 between Guam High School and Southern High School, where players and spectators engaged in riot-like behavior and police responded.

ISA expects coaches and players to behave in a respectful manner when competing on and off the field of play, said an ISA representative in a news release. This was not the case. Athletes and coaches will be held accountable for their actions, they added. 

Student athletes are held to a high standard and should understand it is a privilege and not a right to play sports. As representatives of their schools, their behavior outside the classroom and on the field is witnessed by our entire community. Some student athletes are also regarded as role models to younger siblings and students. The actions of these individuals and spectators should never have happened. In today’s world of social media, this not only sets a bad example of sportsmanship but also reflects poorly on our league and island. ISA does not and will never condone such unacceptable actions from any of our athletes, the release continues. 

Unfortunately, due to these inexcusable behaviors from its athletes, ISA had to determine a punishment for all involved, ISA said. The ISA Board of Control (ISA BOC), along with Guam High School, agreed that all individuals involved in this incident will be henceforth removed from their respective teams for the remainder of the season.

The ISA BOC agreed that they needed to take a stance against any form of physical altercations and will not tolerate this kind of behavior at any sporting event. Coaches and players are expected to understand this and act accordingly, ISA said. 

ISA said that theyexpect to move forward as a league and have all our athletes, coaches, and spectators display good sportsmanship at all levels of play. Hopefully, coaches and players learn from this unfortunate event so that ISA will never again have to take away opportunities for our student athletes to participate in sports.

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