After a run of seven years, the New Year Classic tournament for boys high school basketball teams has been shelved, organizers announced via e-mail Monday morning.
Asked for a reason, tournament director and Yokota coach Paul Ettl said via e-mail: “Not in alignment with new area office policies.” He did not elaborate.
The tournament was a non DODDS-sponsored event that annually showcased high school teams in Japan, South Korea and on Okinawa. It was held for three years at Yokota, twice at Yokosuka Naval Base’s Purdy Fitness Center and twice at American School In Japan. Kadena, Kubasaki and Yokota each won it twice and ASIJ once.
Last Friday, DODDS Pacific’s new director, Linda L. Curtis, issued a directive that stated teams of players from DODDS schools could attend such tournaments, but only as club entities not affiliated with their schools, with all the funding done by the club teams, none of the games played in school gyms, and no support from local host schools.Coaches would have to take leave personal leave if they were to be out of school; students would be listed as having unexcused absences if they missed any school.
In the tournament's seven-year run, games were played at Yokota’s Capps gym the three times it was hosted by Yokota, and the DODDS Japan district provided bus transportation to and from airports and around the host base.
“Although well-intentioned, we now know there have been some inconsistencies in the past between schools and districts in how certain events were approved, funded and executed,” Curtis’ memorandum stated in part.