HIGH SCHOOL BASKETBALL
Hoops change causing scheduling headaches
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Unsolicited, dozens of athletic directors and coaches who went to the recent athletic directors conference on the Big Island asked the same question.
Who's for the change of seasons in girls basketball?
While they asked the same question aloud each day to any media within listening range, other administrators were already trying to piece the puzzle together.
The Oahu Interscholastic Association has its unique set of challenges ahead as girls and boys basketball compete for practice time in gyms. League coordinators, meanwhile, will need to fit busy schedules into a time frame that could be expanded.
In other words, regular-season play in the OIA could begin as early as December 12, according to league chief Dwight Toyama. The league is in the midst of meetings, searching for the right fit and the right blend of scheduling that can appease coaches and administrators.
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While coaches and athletic directors lament the change of seasons for girls basketball, league coordinators are facing the task of monumental time management.
The Oahu Interscholastic Association, like every league statewide, is flexing its creative muscles now that the state basketball tournament dates have been set.
OIA executive director Dwight Toyama is counting on boys basketball coordinator Hugh Taufaasau and girls basketball coordinator Mel Imai to figure out how to blend the two schedules together during the winter season. It'll be a first since the HHSAA approved the change of switching the girls season from spring to winter.
"We've done it for volleyball and soccer before, but it's still a real challenge," Toyama said. "We spent this whole morning working on it."
One point of concern is what to do with preseason.
"We used to get six weeks. Now we may have four weeks, or even three weeks of preseason," he said. "To have both the boys and girls together, something is going to give. Either cut the regular season down, cut preseason down, or play more (regular-season) games in a short time," Toyama said.
Other factors complicate the task. As many as five OIA teams have already committed to play in the annual Iolani Classic, but an early regular-season schedule could cause the squads to pull out. The Classic is usually held in mid-to-late December.
Also, OC-16 could be aiming high. Televising the girls and boys OIA championship games on the same night from one venue is a possibility. However, because the boys and girls have different starting dates according to the HHSAA calendar -- the boys state tourney is one week earlier than the girls -- things could get out of line.
"We gotta work on our schedule first, and then we'll work with them (OC-16)," Toyama said.
The Interscholastic League of Honolulu, meanwhile, has its share of challenges with the season changes. More than 600 games will be crammed into the winter season. Between varsity, junior varsity and intermediate schedules, the obstacles are enormous.
In addition, some ILH teams have plans to travel to mainland tournaments in December.
The problems will be solved, Toyama said.
"We've got time," he said.