When Interscholastic League of Honolulu athletic directors voted unanimously in the affirmative Monday, it put the finishing touches on a historic football agreement with the Oahu Interscholastic Association.
For 2018 and 2019 under a two-year pilot program, the OIA and ILH will play a full slate of interleague, nonleague, regular-season games, according to sources from both leagues.
The agreement caps more than a month of negotiations and hard work by the brass of the two leagues. It was done to ensure more competitive and safe games and avoid the blowouts and mismatches that have cropped up in recent seasons, according to sources.
It was also done to help fill out the schedule for the six OIA Open Division teams and the three ILH Open teams. The agreement also includes full interleague competition in Division I and II.
The last step for the agreement to become a reality is for principals from ILH schools to vote in favor of it. Sources say that vote will be a formality, since the ILH ADs unanimously voted for it.
The idea for the deal came from the OIA’s league office and was passed on to the ILH.
The OIA and ILH will continue to be separate as far as league standings and championships are concerned. Interleague games will not count in a team’s league record, but will count in a team’s overall record.
The state tournament formats will remain the same. For instance, the Open Division will continue to have one ILH and three OIA representatives.
For years, fans and some coaches and ADs were clamoring for some sort of interleague setup — especially for the top programs. And they finally got what they wanted.
In the Open Division, for example, fans will be treated to games involving Saint Louis, Kahuku, Punahou, Mililani, Waianae, Kamehameha, Farrington, Kapolei and Campbell every week.
For more on the agreement and what it will look like exactly in 2018, click here for our complete coverage in Tuesday’s Honolulu Star-Advertiser. Columnist Ferd Lewis also weighed in on the new look for prep football here.