League execs ratify HIADA's proposals
This time, the chiefs went along with their tribes.
Executive directors of the five high school leagues approved all recommendations from athletic directors yesterday at the Hawaii High School Athletic Association's open session meeting. The results were a bit different from last year, when not all recommendations were accepted.
This year, in a six-hour meeting, league administrators gave the thumbs up to recommendations from the Hawaii Interscholastic Athletic Directors Association conference held last week in Wailea.
Twenty-seven recommendations came to the HHSAA executive board at yesterday's meeting at Mid-Pacific Institute, with a few that were debated.
The biggest impact came with the expected passage of a measure that added girls soccer and boys basketball to the Division II state championships. That recommendation was approved unanimously.
Another recommendation to hold the Division I and II state volleyball championships on separate weeks also passed with ease. Last season, in the space of four extremely taxing days, 48 teams participated in the boys and girls tournament in D-I and D-II.
Another recommendation, to require semifinal games of team sports to be played at a single site, was passed with an amendment. HHSAA executive director Keith Amemiya asked for the amendment, citing feasibility as a factor when deciding about sites among various sports.
"In certain sports, if we had to play at one site, some games might start at 7 a.m. Also, as an example, moving the Division II girls basketball semifinals from McKinley to UH would hurt the host school's concessions," he said.
Last season's Division I girls basketball championships were held at UH's Stan Sheriff Center, and the D-II tourney was held entirely at McKinley's Student Council Gym.
"I feel a lot for the schools like McKinley that are willing to host 18 games in four days. No ILH school wants to host that many games during finals," Amemiya added.
In addition, the limitations of Waipio Peninsula Soccer Stadium affects that sport. "They are very protective. They limit the number of games we can play there," Amemiya added.
What the board wound up passing was the original proposal plus the flexibility for Amemiya to weigh the pluses and minuses of different situations.
Playing rent-free at McKinley, for example, allowed the D-II girls basketball tourney to make a profit.
"I wanted it to stand alone there to show that it could make money," Amemiya said. If D-I and D-II games are combined at one site, as was the case in previous years, there's no definitive way to gauge the revenues for each division.
The board also took a look at a minority report request from the MIL regarding a return to an eight-team format for the football state championships. The proposal, initiated by Seabury Hall's Steve Colflesh last week at HIADA, was defeated 46-35. It was brought to light again by Hana athletic director Rich Young.
"This would be so that nobody has a bye and gets extra rest. A smaller team with less players has to play to get in (the second round)," Young said of the disadvantage.
Waiakea athletic director Ken Yamase, soon to become the Big Island Interscholastic Federation executive director, echoed a similar sentiment. "The one (extra) week to scout is a tremendous advantage," he said.
Colflesh's notion was to create a format of three Oahu Interscholastic Association berths, one each for the BIIF, ILH and MIL, and two at-large bids. Yamase preferred the existing formula equation over at-large bids, but the discussion was moot.
The OIA and ILH, which carry a combined 53 of the 95 votes, voted against the measure. Only the MIL voted for a change, and the BIIF and KIF abstained. It was all academic in Don Botelho's eyes.
"One coach mentioned that when we had an eight-team format, 10 of the 12 (first-round) games ended in mercy rule," the former Pac-Five coach said.
Several other approvals came in cross country, wrestling, golf, paddling, air riflery, tennis, and track and field.
In cross country, the board passed a measure to expand the state field to 200 runners. The ILH and OIA again voted in favor, and the neighbor-island leagues voted against (53-42).
Young also brought the issue of catastrophic insurance to the table in regard to wrestling. He suggested that the state borrow the protocol used by Illinois as a way to stay in compliance with national federation rules.
Kamehameha athletic director Blane Gaison, following an earlier discussion with wrestling coordinator Carl Schroers, said that the former coach is against changing any of the HHSAA's existing rules about weight loss.
"He said that Hawaii is not at the risk of losing catastrophic insurance," Gaison said.
OIA executive director Dwight Toyama agreed, noting that Hawaii was the first to take precautions regarding this issue.
"The rest of the nation followed us," he said. "I think it's best to wait."
The board agreed to revisit this topic after MIL executive secretary Steve Kim returns from an ongoing national federation conference.
In a vote that wasn't part of HIADA's recommendation list, Toyama brought the 12-team format for D-I and D-II to discussion. The format was a one-year pilot, he noted, and some form of finalization was required now.
With the exception of a $700 loss for the Division II softball tourney, all other D-II events were profitable, Amemiya said.
All leagues but the OIA voted to pass a measure to keep the 12-team format intact.
One state championship -- cheerleading -- will have a new date. Instead of being held late in the school year, the one-day event will be moved to the winter season.
Also, starting dates and dead periods for coaches and players in all sports were revised after a lengthy discussion by the board. By implementing the dates, all leagues will comply by a uniform standard.
Amemiya advised the board to stay on its toes regarding the possible loss of Aloha Stadium for baseball and soccer.
The stadium, designed to accommodate several sports, may possibly lock into a football-only configuration soon.
Junior 'Bows suffer losses:
The fire that wiped out a building at the University Lab School has put a serious dent into its athletic program.
"They lost all their equipment," said Botelho, who is the ILH's executive director. In addition to University High uniforms, Pac-Five baseball and softball uniforms and equipment were destroyed in the fire, which was put out by crews from 12 fire stations.
OC16 thinking big:
Yesterday's meeting opened with a presentation by Dave Vinton, manager of OC16 Sports. The station hopes to air as many games as possible from this fall's state football championships.
Vinton did not disclose the amount of the offer made to the HHSAA, but is optimistic.
"There are three different figures for it, depending on whether it's live or not. It's such a wonderful event, we need to get it on television," he said.
To nominate ...
To nominate an athlete of the week, contact the Star-Bulletin Sports Department by 11 p.m. Sunday: