Sports Medicine Ankle Taping March Madness


Photo by Sheila Sebastian

Elise Chen, Staff writer

To celebrate National Athletic Training Month, 32 students participated in the March Madness ankle taping competition in the athletic training center from March 2 to March 20. 

The March Madness ankle taping competition, inspired by the college basketball tournament, began in 2018. However, because of the pandemic and two athletic training teachers going on maternity leave, this is the second time that the event has been held.

“[We held the event] for National Athletic Training Month and also to promote our program, since we’re all athletic trainers. We chose ankle taping specifically because it is one of the tools that we use often in our profession,” sports medicine teacher Vanessa Pai said. 

Ankle taping helps athletes with injuries and stabilization. For the tournament, students ranging from sophomores to seniors raced to tape an ankle quickly and neatly. Three sports medicine teachers and one athletic trainer judged the competitors’ performances. 

“It was really fun and it was competitive, but everyone there was really nice,” sophomore Gavin Choi said. “The class is very hands-on. [Ms. Sebastian] has us do a bunch of modeling stuff. For example, she would have us put playdough on different bones of the body.” 

Competitors were divided into brackets, with advanced and introductory students on separate sides. Winners of the bracket advanced to the next stage, with a total of five rounds and the number of competitors being halved each time. 

“I struggled with learning the different wrapping techniques in order to not create any wrinkles,” senior Matthew Hsu said. “You also had only four minutes to complete the ankle taping, so as I advanced through the competition, I needed to make sure I was faster and efficient with my time.” 

Hsu practiced almost every day before his rounds, asking his teachers for tips on how to improve. Upon winning the tournament, he received a gift basket and a gift card, as well as earning a pizza party for his class and having his name displayed with previous winners in the classroom. 

“When I first started, I just wanted to participate. As I started advancing, I got more serious because I knew I had a chance of winning. I felt really good to represent my class too,” Hsu said. “It’s really nerve-racking because there’s also a lot of people supporting you. You don’t want to let them down.”