Star-Bulletin Sports

Friday, June 11, 1999

H A W A I I _ P R E P _ S P O R T S

conference gets
down to business

Representatives from all types
of athletics companies have come
to peddle their products to high
school coaches and officials

By Cindy Luis


LIHUE -- High school sports mean business. Big business.

That's why there are some 30 representatives peddling athletic apparel, equipment, physical therapy and anything else a high school player might need during his or her career attending the 39th Hawaii Interscholastic Athletic Directors Association conference. Before yesterday's opening general assembly, athletic directors, coaches, principals and other administrators from the state's 72 high schools got a look at new products and the future of prep sports.

There was everything from a sample of the new synthetic surfaces recently installed at Aloha Stadium and the Mililani High track to samples of nutritional supplements and energy bars. And as a reminder of the cost of high school athletics in Hawaii and its unique travel problems, there were fund-raising ideas as well as hotel and airline representatives.

Offering a one-stop shop was former Rainbow men's volleyball player Tom Harrer. He is a volleyball trainer, physical therapist and coach who is combining sports and sports medicine into a unique career.

Harrer feels the athletic public is becoming more savvy when it comes to performance, from feeling good physically to looking good in sportswear. Performance Outfitters, a company he represents, has an orthopedic and sports medicine division and a division for sports apparel and footwear.

The conference also acknowledges that injuries occur during athletic competition. Greg Joly of Loomis & LaPann, Inc., held a sobering question and answer session on catastrophic insurance and the liability that high schools have to deal with.

He noted, however, that Hawaii has not had a serious injury among high school athletes in seven years.

The conference continued this morning with progress reports on the various committee meetings. As expected, the state football championship has met with little resistance and is expected to be approved at tomorrow's final general session.

Of note yesterday, air riflery was approved in committee to be added as a state tournament individual and team sport for both boys and girls. There was little discussion on that and the new tie-breaking procedure in volleyball for pool play.

The proposal to expand the state tournaments in girls' and boys' soccer and basketball from 12 to 16 teams -- and go to a single-elimination format with a consolation bracket -- did not pass in committee. The recommendation to tomorrow's voting members will be to form a subcommittee to study the feasibility of expansion, as well as a regional format. If the subcommittee proposal is approved tomorrow, the findings would be presented at the HIADA conference next June.

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