HIGH SCHOOL ATHLETICS
Athletic directors approve 2 more D-II tournaments
Boys basketball and girls soccer join the many other sports with classification
WAILEA » The universe of Division II athletics continues to expand.
Girls soccer and boys basketball are the latest sports that have been added to the D-II state championships thanks to a unanimous vote yesterday at the 46th annual Hawaii Interscholastic Athletic Directors Association conference.
The three-day conference, held at the Wailea Marriott Resort, concluded yesterday.
The measure to advance the proposal, which was initiated by the Maui Interscholastic League, passed in general assembly 82-0. However, it wasn't so simple when the conference began on Thursday. In committee, the measure escaped by a 16-13 count to get to the floor. The momentum turned when Oahu Interscholastic Association backed the measure for yesterday's vote.
Now the proposal goes to the executive board of the Hawaii High School Athletic Association. That committee, represented by each of the five leagues, could pass the proposal in time for the 2006-07 school year.
Jim Bukes, who heads the girls soccer committee for the HHSAA along with Al Wills, praised administrators for the passage.
"There are enough teams to make it competitive," he said of a Division II girls soccer tournament. "In the ILH, we have six teams now, but the numbers for D-I and D-II could change. We can't say until we see who classifies."
In all likelihood, the ILH will still have only one Division I state berth and one for D-II, even with the addition of Saint Francis for next season.
The size of the new D-II state tourneys has not been determined, but the HHSAA executive board will meet later this summer to analyze and vote on all of HIADA's recommendations. It is likely, though, that the new tournaments will have 12-team formats, as do other sports, such as volleyball.
The only remaining team sports without Division II state tournaments are baseball and girls water polo. A measure to add those sports, as well, was defeated on Thursday in committee.
"We're competitive at Division I. I don't think there'll ever be D-II (in baseball). There's not enough teams," said athletic director Brad Kitsu of Academy of the Pacific, which is part of Pac-Five. The Wolfpack were one of the reasons the ILH was a gauntlet for all teams this season.
"Division II would take away the competitiveness. The caliber of play would be less," Kitsu said.
For the two new D-II state tournaments, dates and league-by-league classification breakdowns will be determined later. Current classification criteria is determined autonomously by leagues. A measure to make enrollment numbers the criteria for all leagues was shot down in committee on Thursday.
A minority report by Steve Colflesh of Seabury Hall gave the 83 administrators more to think about. He proposed a return to an eight-team format for the state football championships, a change from the current six-team setup.
"This would eliminate the mercy-rule problem we've had in the past, and it would eliminate any revenue problem," he said of the current format that gives the top two seeded teams automatic byes.
If there are safety concerns, Colflesh doesn't buy it. The teams with byes are normally the bigger, stronger teams, he said.
His compelling argument created a twist, but the vote still was in favor of the status quo, 46-35.
Bye weeks are part of football normalcy, said Saint Louis coach and assistant AD Delbert Tengan, who represented his school at the conference.
"That's a moot issue. At the highest level of championship play, even the top two teams get byes," he said, referring to the NFL. "The MIL gets 20-something days of rest (before the state tournament) anyway."
Colflesh's minority report asked for a format that has three OIA berths and one each for the BIIF, ILH and MIL. The remaining two berths would have been at-large, determined by the HHSAA football committee. Those berths, theoretically, could be awarded to the ILH's second- and third-place teams.
The hubbub surrounding at-large selections would probably have been noisy.
"I don't think that could fly," Tengan said.
Among the other proposals that passed were a measure to increase the cross country field to 200 harriers at the state championships.
Another measure brought the BIIF into the rotation for hosting the soccer state championships.
"We might still have one tournament on Oahu," Iolani athletic director Carl Schroers said of years when the BIIF is slated to host. "To me, the (HHSAA) board should decide the calendar."
The board often tweaks the calendar when dates conflict, Schroers added.
The MIL was added to the state paddling host rotation, while the soccer state tourney was moved up a week so that UH Wahine Stadium would be available.
All proposals require passage by the HHSAA board to take effect.