Thursday, June 26, 2003


Classification approved

Football and two other high school
sports will hold state championships
in two divisions this year

It's official.

For the first time, two-class state tournaments are a reality for Hawaii high school football, softball and girls basketball.

The Hawaii High School Athletic Association executive board voted yesterday in favor of creating a second division in each of the three sports on a one-year trial basis.

It was the final hurdle in a long process for the proposals, which got major boosts earlier this month when they were passed overwhelmingly by the Hawaii Interscholastic Athletic Directors Association.

HHSAA executive director Keith Amemiya, who has fought long and hard for football classification, didn't rest easy until after yesterday's vote at the Oahu Interscholastic Association office at Radford High School.

"It's been an exhausting process," Amemiya said. "I look forward to working with the leagues on the actual details of the (two-division football) tournament itself."

The format on how to pick which teams will be in the top tier (Division I) and which teams will be in the bottom tier (Division II) for all three sports will be discussed at a July 10 meeting at the OIA office.

The HHSAA football committee, made up of members of all five Hawaii leagues, will choose the format for the football tournament. Amemiya, ILH executive director Don Botelho and athletic directors Richard Townsend of Leilehua, Jon Garcia of Baldwin, Lyle Crozier of Konawaena and Jim Kitamura of Waimea are on the committee. Saint Louis AD Cal Lee, who is leaving his post Monday to become a University of Hawaii football assistant, is also on the committee, but will be replaced before the July 10 meeting.

OIA executive secretary Dwight Toyama said it was imperative to choose a football format as soon as possible because it might affect the scheduling of his league's playoff system.

Another committee (which hasn't been formed yet) will discuss the format for the girls basketball and softball tournaments at the July 10 meeting.

Also yesterday, after lengthy discussion, the HHSAA board passed HIADA's recommendation to place all high school football officials under one umbrella to be run by the HHSAA.

It will take effect for the 2004 season.

Glenn Young, the HHSAA's football officials coordinator who drafted the proposal, wanted to delete an amendment that gives each league the ability to make its own game assignments. He said he wouldn't want the proposal to pass if the amendment wasn't omitted.

"The purpose of this proposal is to raise the level of officiating," Young said. "You can't have one group responsible for training and evaluation and another group doing the assigning."

But Maui Interscholastic League executive secretary Stephen Kim, who got one of the last words in before the vote, perked up some momentum for the measure when he said the proposal was good "as is" and that subsequent changes could be made on the question of who has control of game assignments.

The HHSAA board also passed other items that were approved at the HIADA conference. The HHSAA and the five leagues will:

>> Hold the state cheerleading tournament in one division only.

>> Create a water polo state championship.

>> Change the volleyball scoring format to rally scoring and allow a let serve.


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