Hawaii’s high school athletic directors are at the Hilton Waikoloa Village this week on the Big Island. They will discuss proposals initiated by the state’s five sports leagues and vote on possible changes.
Not too many noteworthy items are on the agenda for the 55th annual Hawaii Interscholastic Athletic Directors Association conference that runs through Wednesday.
The ADs broke out into four groups Monday to discuss 29 items. They will meet again on Tuesday, when the proposals that passed out of the four groups are heard by the general assembly. If the proposals survive through Tuesday, they head to Wednesday for a final vote. After that, any proposed changes must also pass the Hawaii Athletic Association executive board, which meets at the Hilton Waikoloa Village on Thursday.
One item of possible consequence is a proposal to institute regional play for the Division I softball state tournament. A regional format, in which early round games are held on a Neighbor Island and Oahu, was tried in volleyball and soccer within the last few years, and the jury is still out on the pros and cons of it. As of right now, there are no future state tournaments scheduled with the regional format.
Another item up for discussion with potential impact is the date football teams can start wearing pads. As it stands now, there is only one week of summer practices in pads before teams begin scrimmaging opponents. The proposal is being brought up for safety reasons, and there is a contingent of ADs and coaches who want to add another week of practices in pads before scrimmages.
“We would rather give them time to get used to practicing for more than a week before they’re getting into full contact in scrimmages,” Pearl City coach Robin Kami said during a spring practice session last week. “One week is not enough. And there are a lot of players who come out who have never played football before and they’re not used to wearing helmets and pads, and they would be better off if they had more time to adjust to it.”
Classification for cheerleading is also being discussed. A proposal calls for cheerleading to be based on Division I and Division II instead of the large squad and medium squad format that is used now.