Football, regionalsBy Cindy Luis
among issues on
Some are housekeeping measures, others are sweeping changes. All are aimed at improving Hawaii's high school athletics, from the administrative level to the playing field.
The annual Hawaii Interscholastic Athletic Directors Association conference begins tomorrow at the Kauai Marriott and will include three days of committee meetings and debates concerning the changing landscape of prep play in the islands. Among the issues on the table are the inaugural state football championship, expansion of boys' and girls' state soccer and basketball tournaments from 12 to 16 teams, and the possibility of "regionals" in both soccer and basketball.
Dwight Toyama, the executive secretary of the Oahu Interscholastic Association, said he anticipates major discussions over the regional concept for boys' and girls' soccer and basketball. According to a proposal to be presented by the Maui Interscholastic League, the expanded tournament field of 16 would be seeded into four regionals, two on Oahu and one each on Maui and the Big Island; the "final four" would be played at one site.
Proponents said the regional concept would create more interest and make it truly a statewide competition. Those opposing the measure feel it would be too costly and lengthen the season unnecessarily.
Currently, all 12 teams compete at a single site over four consecutive days. The top four seeds are given first-round byes.
Expanding to 16 teams would eliminate the byes. It would also give all of the leagues - except the Kauai Interscholastic Federation -- one extra representative in the state tournaments.
Approval of the long-awaited state football championship proposal is apparently a mere formality. Eight teams would play first-round games at Aloha Stadium, Kauai's Vidinha Stadium and Maui's War Memorial Stadium on Nov. 19, with the semifinal and championship rounds the following two weekends.