Star-Bulletin Sports

Friday, April 6, 2001


UHPA HSTA strike logo

OIA girls
basketball players
take first strike,
more to come

Three girls basketball games
are first to be cancelled
by strike

By Cindy Luis

Strike 3, OIA sports 0.

That was the score last night as three Oahu Interscholastic Association girls' basketball games became the first victims of the Hawaii State Teachers Association strike.

Expect this shutout to become more lopsided if the strike continues longer than two weeks. The mercy rule may have to be put into effect: The cancellation of state tournaments in golf, tennis, track, baseball and girls' basketball.

"I hope for the sake of the athletes that the strike is settled as quickly as possible, especially for the seniors,'' said Keith Amemiya, the executive director of the Hawaii High School Athletic Association.

Although the HHSAA is no longer part of the Department of Education, the HHSAA office -- housed on the grounds of Stevenson Intermediate -- was closed yesterday.

Amemiya, working from home, was in contact with league coordinators and coaches throughout the day. Their worst fear is that a lingering strike would wipe out the entire spring sports calendar, with no options to reschedule the five state tournaments that are set for next month.

Save for the Interscholastic League of Honolulu -- Oahu's private-school league -- high school competition has shut down throughout the state through tomorrow. However, the strike has affected the ILH; several track teams that use public-school facilities had to find alternate practice sites.

No one has yet set a "drop dead" deadline that would cancel the seasons. The consensus is that people would start getting nervous if it's longer than two weeks, said a public school official who asked not to be named.

Postponing the state tournaments might be a possibility if the venues are still available. However, if tournaments are rescheduled beyond graduation dates, there may be legal problems to be resolved.

One issue would be insurance coverage for graduated seniors under the HHSAA since they are no longer high school students.

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