Sports

New Regional Format Approved for Girls Hoops, Boys Volleyball

June 11, 2013, 6:26 AM HST
* Updated June 11, 1:17 PM
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A pilot plan to create a regional format for high school girls basketball and boys volleyball passed unanimously Monday during the Hawai`i High School Athletic Association’s Executive Board meeting.

The plan paves the way for the Big Island and Maui to make money as early-round tournament hosts.

The proposal passed unanimously, 100-0.

The format doesn’t change the way teams are bracketed against each other, but gives league champions an opportunity to host the first two rounds of the tournament, essentially giving them home-court advantage.

It also extends the length of the state tournament by a week. The opening two rounds of the tournament would be played on a Friday and Saturday. If a neighbor island pool features two Oahu at-large schools, instead of traveling to the neighbor island site they would play at home a day earlier.

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The winner would then travel to the neighbor island site to play the league champion two days later.

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The four winners would then travel to Oahu for the semifinal and final rounds the following week. Those games would be played on a Friday and Saturday.

The HHSAA, led by executive director Christopher Chun, will create a committee to oversee the implementation of the regional schedule. Findings on the format, both positive and negative, will be shared at next year’s Hawai`i Interscholastic Athletic Directors Association meeting, held in Waikoloa. The comments will determine the fate of the plan and how many sports adopt it.

Chun was confident about Monday’s vote.

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“After I left the general assembly, I thought I had most of the leagues’ support,” Chun said. “Even when the OIA abstained, I kinda wound up talking to a few of their AD’s, and I thought they wound up generally supporting the idea. They just had concerns. So when they had the voting at the executive board when all five leagues unanimously approving it, it kinda wasn’t shocking at this point.”

The HHSAA leader will begin the process of forming a committee to put the new format into action. He also says that he is beginning to work on schedules for the next sports calendar year.

In a change from Sunday’s vote, the Division II baseball tournament will rotate every three years between the Big Island and Kauai.

On Sunday, the BIIF used a minority report to send the hosting proposal to the general assembly. This followed a committee report that saw a striking majority shoot down the motion. In general assembly, however, the bill passed with 41 voting for it, 38 voting against it, and seven schools abstaining from casting a vote.

According to BIIF executive director Lyle Crozier, the Kauai Interscholastic Federation introduced an amendment, via a suggestion from Chun, to add Kauai to the rotation.

“Traditionally, the Big Island and KIF have been strong in DII baseball. I know it’s hard for Kauai teams to get down to the Big Island. That’s why traditionally, Kauai usually supports state tournaments on Oahu,” said Chun via telephone.

“I figured that if every three years they have to go to the Big Island, we should make it every six years that they have to come to Kauai as well. If we’re going to have baseball on three out of the four islands, we might as well add the fourth one in.”

The amendment received approval from all leagues except for the Oahu Interscholastic Association. There were 69 votes in favor of the amended bill while 31, or the entire OIA, voted against it.

The approved amendment puts the neighbor islands in a three-year rotation for the state Division II tournament, on par with Maui’s three-year rotation for the Division I tourney. When the Division I tournament moves back to Maui in 2016, the Big Island will receive the hosting responsibilities for the Division II championship. In 2019, Kauai will have its turn.

Crozier is pleased with the baseball vote. “We just want to be in the rotation. Eventually, hopefully, we can host it more often, but just to be in the rotation is better than not.”

Other items tackled in Monday’s agenda:

– In bowling, a student-athlete or coach who is disqualified for during a state tournament would be disqualified from the next contest. A suspension would not carry over to the following season’s state tournament. All 100 votes were in favor of the rules change.

– Also in bowling, the leagues unanimously agreed that electronic devices, including cell phones, MP3 players, tablets, and game systems, would be prohibited on the approach,  the sitting area and the coaches benches.

– Several state tournaments are moving back in the calendar. A unanimous vote approves a motion to move the boys basketball state tournament back to the week following the girls basketball championships. And, in soccer, both girls and boys tournaments will move to weeks 32 and 33 of the season.

– In wrestling, the Hawai`i High School Athletic Association will adopt the National Federation of High Schools’ weight classes. Weight retesting was also passed unanimously.

– The state canoe racing championships will move to Saturdays from their original Friday slot. All leagues favored the motion.

– In air riflery, Maui was successfully added to the hosting rotation for the state tournament. The MIL will now host the championship every six years. Every island, except for Kauai, is currently part of the sport’s hosting rotation.

– In judo, the highest weight class in the boys competition will increase from 275 pounds to 285. Also changed was the way a match ends. Sudden death will now be used to determine a winner. And, penalties have changed for blocks and attacks. According to the proposal, “the penalty for all attacks or blocking with one or two hands or with one or two arms below the belt in Tachiwaza will be one shido for the first offense and technical hansoku for the second offense.

– Revisions were made to the amount of participants in each division of the state cheerleading championships. The large division will now feature schools that have 12-20 athletes. Any school with less than 12 participants will compete in the medium division.

– The only proposal to fail in the executive board came in cross country, where leagues voted down a separate scoring system for Division I and Division II in both boys and girls tournaments.

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