Most ILH football coaches believe the league will count its regular-season games against OIA teams in determining ILH champions and state berths.
No official decision has been made by the ILH office.
Late last month, the OIA and ILH put the finishing touches on a historic deal that brings the leagues together for a full slate of interleague games. When the agreement was officially announced, it was clear that the OIA would not count interleague games against the ILH in its standings and toward its playoffs in determining an OIA champion and state berths.
But at the time, nothing was set in stone on how the ILH would determine its champion. Based on the best information available at the time, it was assumed that the ILH would also only count ILH vs. ILH games to determine a champion and state berths.
However, multiple ILH coaches over the last week said they believe the ILH will not conduct a playoff and will determine a champion and state berths based on the teams’ won-lost records in all games played — interleague and intraleague.
“It’s the only logical way to do it,” said one ILH coach, echoing what many other ILH coaches also said.
One ILH coach did not like it at all.
“The games don’t count for OIA teams,” he said. “The games doen’t mean anything for them. Why shouldn’t it count for them? We could lose to our (ILH opponent or opponents) but because we have a better record, we go (to states). That doesn’t make sense. Games not counting for OIA teams makes those games like an exhibition game.”
Multiple ILH coaches also said that although the ILH team declarations by schools for which division they will be playing in are set for the Open (Saint Louis, Punahou, Kamehameha), it’s still up in the air for Division I and D-II.
Last year, Damien and St. Francis were in D-I, and ‘Iolani and Pac-Five were in D-II. When the official announcement of the new OIA-ILH agreement was made in late February, those same teams were slotted in the same divisions for the 2018 and 2019 pilot program.
It wasn’t noted in the OIA-ILH news release, but those declarations could still change, coaches said, adding that the final allotment will still be two teams in D-I and two in D-II (not three and one, or four and zero).