Keeping Score

By Cindy Luis

Tuesday, December 22, 1998

Holiday wishes for a
select few on my list

HOW many days left to do some Christmas shopping? Not enough for procrastinators like myself, someone who sends out Christmas cards around Easter.

But since this is a magical time of year, perhaps the easiest gifts to give are those off a Wish List. Who knows? Maybe miracles do happen.

To UH football: A better way to do season ticket sales.

It was an excellent idea to kick off the June Jones era with early sales, get the momentum building. Anything to help turn around that 40 percent drop since 1992.

And I'm glad that those fans who have been loyal during the lean years -- especially last season -- will not see the newcomers get better seats. Some longtime ticket holders were talking about buying tickets now, hoping to upgrade their sight lines.

UH needs to do more. Finally put those ticket outlets beyond Ward Warehouse and out to Kapolei, Hawaii Kai, the North Shore and the windward and leeward coasts.

What about taking a cue from Fresno State? How about offering family packages, say $50 for four tickets (two adults, two children).

To June Jones: That the administrative and community's financial support doesn't stop with a reception at Washington Place and a new surface for Cooke Field.

UH needs to review its admissions policy, the second-toughest in the WAC behind Air Force. Allowing partial- and non-qualifiers in on a case-by-case basis will help prevent the bigger drainage problem than the one at the practice field. The football staff has raised the academic performance for the squad off the field the past few years; reward them on the field by allowing some of the players who can get into nearly any school on the mainland to come to Manoa.

To international volleyball: Quit changing a great sport.

On Oct. 28, the FIVB World Congress voted to accept the new scoring format, one that will have all matches played best-of-five with the first four sets to 25 points and Game 5 to 15 points.

The scoring system will be used starting Jan. 1 in all FIVB competitions, including the Men's World League, Women's Grand Prix and the Junior World Championships. This format will be used in the Olympics beginning in 2000.

This was mostly done to appease the TV gods who still butcher a match, that is when they actually deign to televise one.

Hawaii women's coach Dave Shoji said he expects the collegiate game to adopt some new format in the next few years. Let's hope they reconsider.

To Wahine volleyball: To find a way to be home for Christmas next season and to be competing for the 1999 NCAA title. A rally-scoring Game 5. Let's not go there again.

Only one team has ever won the championship when playing at home (UCLA in 1991). For Hawaii to win it all next year would be the perfect way to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the first national title for the Wahine.

To all of us: A renewed faith for the new year.

I wanted to pass this story on, sent by a friend on the mainland.

"At the Special Olympics in Seattle a few years ago, nine contestants, all physically or mentally disabled, assembled at the starting line for the 100-yard dash. At the gun, they all started out, with a relish to run to the finish line. All, except for one little boy who stumbled, fell and began to cry.

"When the other eight heard the crying, they slowed down and looked back. Then they all turned around and went back to help their fellow competitor.

"The nine linked arms and walked together to the finish line. The crowd in the stadium rose as one and cheered.

"What these athletes showed is that life is more than winning for ourselves. What matters in this life is helping others win, even if it means slowing down and changing our course."

Happy holidays.

Cindy Luis is a Star-Bulletin sportswriter.
Her column appears weekly.

E-mail to Sports Editor

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