NYO Events
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For thousands of years and countless generations, survival for Alaska Native people depended not only on individual strength, skill and knowledge, but also on the ability to work together toward common goals.


Traditional athletic contests and games helped develop these and other skills critical to everyday life in the challenging Alaska environment. Today’s NYO Games Alaska carries on in this spirit by encouraging young people to strive for their personal best while helping and supporting their teammates—even other teams.


The NYO Games are open to all students and the public, as a way of sharing and celebrating Native traditions. For details and a step-by-step how-to video for each event, see the links below and watch each video.


* Senior Games only
**Junior Games only

A tour-de-force of body and mind, the Alaskan High Kick is one of the most elegant and photographed events of the games.


To prepare for the kick, athletes sit on the floor and balance on one foot while reaching across the torso to hold the other foot. Leaning back on the opposite hand, athletes thrust the balancing foot straight up to kick a suspended ball, then land on the kicking foot—without losing balance.


The ball is raised in increments of four inches after each round. Each athlete is allowed three attempts at each height. When all but three athletes have been eliminated, the ball is raised in one-inch increments until there is a winner.

Two athletes sit on the floor facing each other with one leg over and one leg under their opponent’s legs. Using the arm on the same side of the leg positioned over the opponent’s leg, the athletes lock arms inside of the elbow.


The free hand is placed on the opponent’s ankle or foot, and upon a signal from the floor official, they begin pulling straight back with no jerking, re-gripping or twisting allowed. The athlete must pull until their opponent’s arm straightens or they pull their opponent toward them.


In the second round, athletes alternate arm and leg positions. At no time can the athletes pulling arm rest or touch their knee or leg during the pull. Athletes who re-grip or let go of their opponent’s ankle or foot, will lose the round. Athletes must win two of three rounds to win the match. In the event of a tie, the official will flip a coin to determine arm position for the final round.


The Arm Pull is a double elimination event, and there is no weight class. Only Junior athletes compete in the arm pull.


Historically, the Arm Pull was played to test individual strength.

The Eskimo Stick Pull is a contest of sheer strength and determination.


Two contestants sit on the floor facing each other, the soles of their feet touching. Feet must be parallel and together, with knees bent at a 45-degree angle.

Barehanded, with palms facing the floor, contestants firmly grasp a stick placed between them (A coin toss determines which contestant has the inside or outside hold on the stick.)


At an official’s signal, contestants try to pull the stick away from their opponent without jerking or resetting their grip. To win a round, athletes must pull their opponent from the floor, or cause them to fall over sideways or release their grip.

Hand positions are alternated between rounds. The winner of two rounds takes the match and moves to the next heat.


Traditionally, the event was used as practice for pulling seals from the ice.


There are no record holders for this event.

Smaller athletes can prevail over much larger opponents in the Indian Stick Pull. Contestants stand next to each other facing in opposite directions, and each place their near foot forward and alongside the outside of their opponent’s.


Athletes’ feet must be kept on marked positions, and no other body contact is allowed. With their near arms held down, contestants grab the opposite end of a tapered and greased wooden dowel. On the start signal, athletes attempt to pull the stick from their opponent’s hand.


During the competition, the stick cannot be raised any higher than the tallest opponent’s shoulder. No body contact is allowed. Jerking, twisting or turning the stick is allowed, and feet must remain in place on the floor. Movement of the feet will result in the player losing that pull.


The contestant who forces the dowel from their opponent’s hand wins the round. Matches consist of three rounds—first with the right hand, then with the left; the third round (if needed) occurs with the hand determined by a coin toss. The winner of two rounds takes the match and moves to the next heat.


The Indian Stick Pull represents grabbing a slippery salmon, and was used traditionally to develop hand and arm strength.


There are no record holders for this event.

When it comes to the Kneel Jump, appearances are deceiving, as it is impossible to predict winners based on physique. Athletes start in a kneeling position, with the tops of their feet flat on the floor, and then jump up and forward.


Athletes must land on both feet simultaneously and remain in that position without moving and without otherwise touching the floor.


Each athlete is allowed three attempts.


The winner is the contestant who jumps the greatest distance.


Historically, the Kneel Jump was a game used to strengthen the leg muscles for jumping from ice floe to ice floe, and for lifting prey after a successful hunt.

The One-foot High Kick demands great flexibility and leg strength.


From a standing or running start, athletes jump with both feet, kick a suspended ball with one foot, then land on the kicking foot—without losing balance (they may hop several times on the kicking foot to regain balance).


The ball is raised in increments of four inches after each round, and each athlete is allowed three attempts at each height. When all but three athletes have been eliminated, the ball is raised in one-inch increments until there is a winner.


In many cultures, the One-Foot High Kick was used for signaling a successful hunt.

The One-hand Reach demands extraordinary balance, strength and focus.


Balancing their weight on the palm or knuckles of one hand, athletes reach with their free hand to touch a suspended ball, then place their free hand on the floor—without otherwise touching the floor.


The ball is raised in increments of four inches after each round, and each athlete is allowed three attempts at each height. When all but three athletes have been eliminated, the ball is raised in one-inch increments until there is a winner.

The Scissor Broad Jump requires athletes to make four continuous hops/steps without losing balance.


Athletes will have three attempts to achieve their longest jump. Measurements will be taken to the ¼-inch from the heel of the foot closest to the starting line. Athletes can use shoes, mukluks or bare feet. There is a 1-minute time limit. The sequence of hops/steps is as follows:

  1. Starting from a standing position, with both feet parallel, athletes will jump forward simultaneously off both feet.
  2. Land on one foot. Either foot is acceptable.
  3. Keeping forward momentum, swing the free leg behind the leg that was landed on and shift your weight to it so that the foot you landed on is now free. Note: When crossing your leg behind the landing leg, do not swing or move your body to one side and make sure to maintain forward momentum. You must show your cross-over around the leg you land on, not just behind the foot. No double pump of the knee. Keep shoulders square.
  4. Jump forward with the free foot.
  5. Then jump forward to a two foot landing position. The body must be facing forward when landing. Do not move either foot and if any part of the body touches the floor it will counted as a scratch in the attempt. Movement must be continued throughout the entire jump. Stopping will result in that attempt being considered a scratch.


The athlete who jumps the farthest distance wins.


Traditionally, the Scissor Broad Jump was used to practice balance needed when jumping on ice floes, and to keep warm.

The Seal Hop is perhaps the most physically and mentally grueling of all the events.


Female contestants assume a push-up position with arms straight and palms flat on the floor. Male contestants must maintain a lowered push-up position, with elbows bent, hands curled and knuckles down, supporting their weight on the heels of the hands and the knuckles.


At the official’s signal, contestants hop—seal-like—across the floor on their hands and toes while maintaining the push-up position. When their shoulders cross a designated marker, athletes must make a 180-degree turn and resume hopping. Athletes will be stopped for pausing and restarting, raising the rump above the shoulders or touching the floor with their knees or stomach.


Upon completing their distance, contestants must remain in position until the judge measures their distance. The athlete who travels the greatest distance is the winner.


The Seal Hop is a variation of the Inuit Knuckle Hop, and used traditionally as a game of endurance and stamina, and for sneaking up on a seal, mimicking the mammal’s movement on the ice.




Starting from a standing position behind a line, athletes jump with feet together over a stick, tapping it with their toes before launching again, and landing on both feet.


After each round, the stick is moved in four-inch increments away from the start line. When all but three athletes have been eliminated, the stick is moved in one-inch increments until there is a winner.


The Toe Kick teaches individuals to be light on their feet, and simulates the motion needed for jumping from ice patch to ice patch.

The Two-foot High Kick is a supreme test of abdominal strength and balance.


Jumping with both feet simultaneously, athletes kick a suspended ball, then land on both feet without falling backwards. The ball is raised in increments of four inches after each round. Each athlete is allowed three attempts at each height.


When all but three athletes have been eliminated, the ball is raised in one-inch increments until there is a winner.




The Two-Foot High Kick was historically used to communicate the success of a spring hunt.

The Wrist Carry is tailor-made for small, strong athletes who also have a will of iron.


Starting from a sitting position, athletes hook one wrist over the middle of a long pole held by two carriers.


Without touching the pole or floor with any other part of the body, athletes suspend themselves off the pole and maintain the position while being carried over the course until they can no longer hold their own weight. Carriers may walk or run through the course.


The athlete covering the greatest distance while suspended wins.


The Wrist Carry represents the significance of a successful hunt and traditionally tests the strength and endurance of hunters, while showing appreciation for the animal giving itself.



CLICK HERE to register for the upcoming NYO Games.


CLICK HERE . The waiver form is required by all athletes prior to competition.


CLICK HERE to sign the participation form.

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