HIGH SCHOOL WRESTLING
Wrestling issue weighty matter for football players
HAPUNA » Wrestling could get a lot tougher for football players.
A measure passed in committee yesterday would require a weight loss of no more than 1.5 percent of total body weight per week during the wrestling season. The proposal, initiated by the Maui Interscholastic League, was approved for vote by Group 4. That committee, chaired by the MIL and Kauai Interscholastic Federation, is one of four that are representing 68 administrators at the Hawaii Interscholastic Athletic Directors Association.
On Day 2 of the conference, the committee was convinced -- at least by a majority -- to send the proposal into today's assembly vote. If ratified, the proposal will advance to the executive board of the Hawaii High School Athletic Association. That board will meet on Tuesday to pass or reject HIADA proposals.
The measure is intended to keep Hawaii in line with what has been adopted by the national federation. However, one of the state's wrestling gurus, retired coach Carl Schroers, wasn't swayed in any way by national influences.
"The benefit? I don't know. I voted against it," said Schroers, who is also co-athletic director at Iolani. "I'm not convinced that it's gonna serve its purpose. It's an enormous project."
Theoretically, an athlete who enters wrestling season at 250 pounds would have to compete in the 275 division or move down to 215. If he moves down, the loss of 35 pounds could happen rather quickly by existing standards. If the new measure passes today, he would be permitted to lose only 3.75 pounds in his first week.
At that rate, it could take him at least eight weeks to be eligible for competition. It could be too late to qualify for his league championships.
"For the football kids, this could be tough. They could run out of time," Schroers said.
Reasons for the national mandate could include potential litigation. Wrestling is a sport that has its share of issues regarding sudden, drastic weight loss and health concerns.
"They're worried about litigation," Schroers said. "But (the proposal) puts us in compliance."
Reversing field: On Thursday, a proposal to move all boys soccer state tournaments to Oahu went through committee with "no motion."
In other words, the measure was dead.
By yesterday, however, the committee (Group 3), reversed field and passed the proposal. If the measure is ratified by the assembly this morning, it would oust Maui from the hosting rotation.
Currently, the state tourney is held on Maui every three years. At least one athletic director was visibly concerned about the sudden change.
Why such a drastic switch? The proposal includes a travel stipend of $2,500 from the HHSAA for each neighbor island team that qualifies for the tournament. That would be enough to cover air fare, but probably not enough for boarding and ground travel.
The HHSAA cited February as a challenging time of year to find accommodations on Maui. Also, with the MIL's relatively small number of state entries, travel requirements are heavy for the other leagues.
The HHSAA also noted that Oahu's Waipio Peninsula Soccer Stadium is the "premier soccer venue in the state." Lower attendance on Maui is also a factor in the HHSAA's proposal.