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Star-Bulletin Sports

Thursday, April 6, 2000

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

ILH sets limit
on rosters

Principals vote for a maximum
of 65 players for football; St. Louis
coach Lee plans to fight it

By Dave Reardon


Interscholastic League of Honolulu principals have approved a maximum limit of 65 players in uniform for league football games.

The new rule is scheduled for the 2001 season.

St. Louis coach Cal Lee is against it and said he will fight it.

"Isn't participation in extracurricular activities what we want? To me it's wrong to limit participation," he said.

Lee said he plans to address the league's principals at their next meeting, May 18, with the support of other ILH football coaches.

"The principals approved the new rule in mid-March," Iolani principal Val Iwashita said. "But any rule changes can be discussed at any meeting. Whether the new rule would be overturned would be up to the body."

Iwashita heads a task force of principals, athletic directors and football coaches charged with improving balance in the league.

"The task force said that 65 is a very reasonable number," Iwashita said. "Any more is totally unnecessary."

St. Louis had more than 100 players last year. Lee said that in about half his team's games, everyone available got to play.

Kamehameha, which had around 80 players, is the only other of the six ILH teams expected to be immediately affected.

St. Louis has won 14 consecutive ILH championships, the last 13 Prep Bowls, and Hawaii's first state championship.

All six ILH football teams are represented on the task force. But Lee, the ILH coordinator for football, is not on the task force.

One reason for the large varsity rosters is that there was no ILH junior varsity football last year.

The principals also approved other recommendations, including a mercy rule identical to the one started by the Oahu Interscholastic Association last fall.

If a team leads by 35 or more points at halftime, the second half goes on running time until the trailing team can get within 35 points. The principals voted to start using the rule this fall.

They also voted to eliminate an exception that allows students who transfer into the ILH after ninth grade to participate in sports immediately.

Also, ILH students will be able to play sports in only four consecutive years instead of four in five, as they now are allowed.

These two rules are scheduled to go into effect in 2001-02.

"The general push is for us to remain competitive without undermining other programs, regardless if they are public or private," Iwashita said.

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