BIIF leader wants reform
One league, one vote.
If Ken Yamase has his way, the governing body of state high school athletics will return to that format sooner rather than later. Yamase, the Big Island Interscholastic Federation executive director, brought the topic up for discussion at yesterday's Hawaii High School Athletic Association executive board meeting at Mid-Pacific Institute.
Though there won't be any changes or proposals in the immediate future, Yamase raised the point for discussion because the current "weighted" balance of representation is skewed at best, he said.
Right now, any proposal that passes HIADA (Hawaii Interscholastic Athletic Directors Association) can be shot down by the HHSAA even if three of the five leagues are in favor. That's because the ILH (29 schools) and OIA (26) outnumber the neighbor island leagues.
The same is true if the OIA and BIIF vote together on any proposal.
Yamase's point could lead to a radical change. More often than not, the MIL (12 schools), KIF (5) and BIIF (22) have been on the opposite side of their Oahu counterparts on key proposals.
Yamase pointed out that if Congress had the same weighted format, 15 states would have the power to overrule the rest of the country.
The HHSAA did vote unanimously in favor of repealing a ban of metal cleats in softball. That puts the HHSAA in line with the National Federation of High Schools, and also puts the HHSAA in compliance with Title IX, OIA executive director Dwight Toyama noted.
The metal-cleat ban did not apply to baseball, and the state attorney general recommended a change, Kahuku principal Lisa DeLong noted.
However, concerns about metal cleats were valid, Yamase said, because many Hawaii teams play on grass infields, where rubber cleats are considered safer. Most mainland teams play on "skinned," or all-dirt, infields.
Repealing the ban, HHSAA executive director Keith Amemiya said, gives players a choice. No player will be required by rule to wear one type of shoe or another. The softball state tournaments are scheduled at Rainbow Wahine Softball Stadium and Patsy Mink Central Oahu Regional Park, which have skinned infields.
The change applies only to state tournaments.
The HHSAA board also voted in favor of a standardized transfer rule that will apply to all leagues. The measure passed by a 60-34 count, with the ILH, KIF and OIA in favor. The BIIF and MIL voted against, noting the probability of appeals from families of student-athletes.