Friday, April 27, 2001

Prep finals saved

LeMahieu reverses his earlier
decision to scrap sports

Schedule of tournaments

By Jason Kaneshiro

THANKS TO A 36-HOUR WHIRLWIND of phone calls and meetings by officials and administrators, high school athletes will be given the opportunity to compete for state championships this spring.

State Superintendent of Schools Paul LeMahieu announced yesterday student-athletes from the state's public schools will be allowed to participate in the six Hawaii High School Athletic Association tournaments next month. The turn of events amounts to a resurrection for the tournaments. This just two days after it appeared they would be wiped out in the aftermath of the recently settled Hawaii State Teachers Association strike.

"Everyone's relieved the tournaments have been saved," said Keith Amemiya, executive director of the HHSAA. "And most people understand the tournament formats are the best possible under the circumstances.

"It goes to show what can be accomplished when people have the same goal in mind," he added.

The announcement came after a meeting at the Department of Education headquarters between LeMahieu, Amemiya, Oahu Interscholastic Association Executive Secretary Dwight Toyama, state Sen. Bob Hogue (R, Kaneohe-Maunawili-Enchanted Lake) and Board of Education member Winston Sakurai.

The new arrangement calls for the tournaments to be held over two weekends on three islands, with the fields for each reduced to accommodate the limited time frame. Two championships will be played on Monday afternoons. If neighbor island athletes are involved in those finals, they will have to fly home, attend classes and return to Oahu after school and compete that evening. Amemiya said those athletes would be reimbursed for travel expenses incurred by having to play on Oahu.

"This is not a perfect arrangement," LeMahieu said. "But a perfect arrangement is only possible in a typical year, and this is far from a typical year."

LeMahieu pulled the public schools out of the state tournament picture Tuesday, citing the amount of class time students would miss due to travel and competition as they attempt to make up for instructional time lost during the 14-day HSTA strike. The lack of public school participation would have taken four of the state's five sports leagues -- the OIA, the Big Island Interscholastic Federation, the Kauai Interscholastic Federation and the Maui Interscholastic League -- out of the state tournament picture. And Interscholastic League of Honolulu officials said it would not participate if the other leagues were not represented.

LeMahieu later agreed to reconsider, if the HHSAA could guarantee no class time would be missed due to the tournaments. Amemiya and his colleagues burned the phone lines over the next day and a half to fashion new formats and schedules for the championships.

Their efforts resulted in a tournament slate that opens May 12 with 36-hole boys and girls golf tournaments on Maui. The boys tournament will be held at the Kapalua Village Golf Course. The site for the girls tournament has yet to be determined. The track and field championships will be held May 18-19 at Maui War Memorial Stadium in Wailuku. The state tennis tournament will open with preliminary rounds May 18 and 19 at the Kiahuna and Poipu Kai tennis clubs on Kauai. The semifinals and finals will be held May 21 at the Punahou School courts on Oahu.

The state baseball and girls basketball tournaments will be eight-team, single-elimination events. Both tournaments open May 18, with quarterfinal action at sites to be determined next week. Amemiya said the quarterfinal games will either be played at four different sites or as a pair of doubleheaders. The baseball semifinals and finals will be played May 19 at Aloha Stadium. The Stan Sheriff Center will host the girls basketball semifinals May 19 and finals May 21.

The girls basketball tournament will include three OIA teams, two ILH teams and the champions from the BIIF, KIF and MIL. The BIIF will get two teams for the baseball tournament, while the ILH will get one. The number of qualifiers for the tennis tournaments was cut in half to fit play into the time available. Amemiya said seeding criteria for the tournaments have yet to be determined.

The schedule allows each of the state's five high school sports leagues to complete their regular seasons and determine champions before the state tournaments. The OIA will resume play Tuesday.

The arrangement avoids play on Sundays, an issue over which OIA officials had expressed concern due to religious activities. The window of opportunity was also limited to two weekends, since a number of schools will hold graduation ceremonies on Memorial Day weekend.

Schedule of tournaments


>> Boys: May 12, Kapalua Village Golf Course, Maui, 36 holes.
>> Girls: May 12, site to be determined, Maui, 36 holes.


>> Preliminary rounds: May 18, Kiahuna and Poipu Kai tennis clubs, Kauai.
>> Preliminary rounds: May 19, Kiahuna and Poipu Kai tennis clubs, Kauai.
>> Semifinals and Finals: May 21, Punahou School Tennis Courts, Oahu.

Track and Field

>> Trials: May 18, War Memorial Stadium, Maui.
>> Finals: May 19, War Memorial Stadium, Maui.


League Representation: OIA-3 teams; ILH-1 team; BIIF-2 teams; MIL-1 team; KIF-1 team.

>> Quarterfinals: May 18, Sites to be determined, Oahu.
>> Semifinals and Finals: May 19, Sites to be determined and Aloha Stadium, Oahu.

Girls Basketball

League Representation: OIA-3 teams; ILH-2 teams; BIIF-1 team; MIL-1 team; KIF-1 team.

>> Quarterfinals: May 18, Sites to be determined, Oahu.
>> Semifinals: May 19, Stan Sheriff Center, Oahu.
>> Championship: May 21, Stan Sheriff Center, Oahu.

Source: Hawaii High School Athletic Association

E-mail to City Desk

Text Site Directory:
[News] [Business] [Features] [Sports] [Editorial] [Do It Electric!]
[Classified Ads] [Search] [Subscribe] [Info] [Letter to Editor]

© 2001 Honolulu Star-Bulletin