HIGH SCHOOL ATHLETICS
Rule on size of prep leagues fails
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Waikoloa, Hawaii » A proposal to unify Division I and II criteria for all leagues was shot down in committee last night at the Hawaii Interscholastic Athletic Directors Association conference.
The proposal, offered by the Big Island Interscholastic Federation, would have required leagues to abide by criteria of enrollment, a private-school multiplier (of 1.5) and an adjustable ratio based on the number of teams playing in each league, by sport.
However, a proposal to require a minimum of three participating teams in a sport for one league -- in either D-I or D-II -- passed in committee and will be up for general assembly vote tomorrow. The proposal, from the BIIF, is a reaction to teams from the ILH that qualified for the Division II state tournament despite having no other D-II opponents in league.
"It's a good proposal," Kealakehe athletic director Mike Hernandez said. "Otherwise, why don't we form a West Hawaii league with only Kealakehe. We'd get a berth."
Any proposal that is approved tomorrow will face further voting by the Hawaii High School Athletic Association executive board.
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WAIKOLOA, Hawaii » Behind the pleasantries and joy -- summer break has officially started for most -- there are fierce battles ongoing in this voggy, windy resort town.
The early votes that came with yesterday's opening session of the Hawaii Interscholastic Athletic Directors Association conference yielded some intriguing proposals that have passed or been rejected already. Though day one is technically a "straw poll" session for the four committees, nearly all proposals were voted on by ADs from across the state.
Perhaps most key is a proposal submitted by the Big Island Interscholastic Federation that would require a league to field at least three teams to qualify for a state berth. In the past year, the Interscholastic League of Honolulu sent Maryknoll to the Division II state baseball tourney and Pac-Five to the state soccer tourney. Each team was the lone D-II participant in the ILH in the respective sport.
"We'll just have to plead our case on the floor on Saturday," Mid-Pacific athletic director Bill Villa said.
That measure, along with other victorious proposals, will be up for final vote in general assembly tomorrow morning in the Naupaka room at Waikoloa Beach Marriott.
Other notable proposals, also from committee Group 4, were defeated. Gary Oertel, AD at Christian Liberty, developed a proposal regarding statewide classification -- the most comprehensive offering by any league since Division II state tournaments began several years ago.
Oertel's measure incorporated three criteria: school enrollment, a private-school multiplier of 1.5 and a varying, scaled ratio according to the number of teams playing in each league, by sport. Half of the public-school teams and half of the private-school squads would have gone either up or down.
"That would've made the cutoff number different, let's say, in basketball, than it might be for softball," said Ken Yamase, BIIF executive secretary and former longtime Waiakea athletic director.
"This proposal broke it down by sport. That's the beauty of Gary Oertel's proposal. He worked hard on it."
Despite objections from some coaches and fans to the participation of large schools in Division II, the proposal was defeated thoroughly in committee 21-10, with four abstentions.
"If people are saying and asking, why this? Why is it left up to leagues, well, here was a formula based on concrete figures to apply across the board," Yamase said. "It would have given validity to, 'Why is a team in Division I or II.'"
The Maui Interscholastic League offered a proposal that would have increased current tournament fields from 12 to 16 teams. Within the proposal was a second option to decrease the fields from 12 to eight teams, while opening up Division III state tournaments.
That proposal was shot down rather quickly, but still served a purpose.
"We submitted some things as food for thought," Seabury Hall athletic director Steve Colflesh said. "We want to try to get the leagues to start a consensus on how to classify teams."
Currently, there is no uniform, statewide criteria for Divisions I and II. Each league has its own autonomy and determines its own criteria. The MIL was the first league to use enrollment as a primary measuring tool.
Several other proposals will be discussed this morning when committees reconvene. Among the proposals is a measure to expand state-tournament volleyball matches from best-of-three to best-of-five. That one will be up for vote tomorrow as a minority report.
With 24 member schools, the second-largest total of any league, the Oahu Interscholastic Association is unlikely to vote in favor of best-of-five matches.
"We've got varsity, JV and don't forget, the Blue Division teams," Kahuku athletic director Joe Whitford said. "It would just take too much time."
In all, 47 proposals were offered.
All proposals that pass the HIADA vote will face the Hawaii High School Athletic Association executive board.