HHSAA: Fall sports likely to be pushed back 2 weeks

Athletic directors in the Oahu Interscholastic Association have not received official word about a change in the fall sports start date.

According to Ian Scheuring of Hawaii News Now, however, the date is Aug. 19. Scheuring’s tweet on Thursday afternoon caught administrators off guard.

That could change with an official announcement on Friday.

The Hawaii High School Athletic Association has a statewide start date for football practice, Aug. 17, but that is expected to change — possibly because of the spike in COVID-19 cases locally. According to HHSAA official Russ Aoki, the committee of league representatives will meet with the association soon.

“The start date calendar for football will be amended for at least a couple weeks. We meet next week to work on details,” Aoki said.

Athletic directors expect to give their fall sports teams — football, girls volleyball, cross country and bowling — roughly four weeks to prepare before beginning league play. The HHSAA has already announced that the football time frame could be held back until as late as October.

The DOE announced last week that public schools will open on Aug. 4.

Earlier in the day, the Big 10 and Pac-12 conferences announced plans to eliminate nonconference play. The Ivy League cancelled its fall sports season on Wednesday with the possibility of moving football to spring season.

In Michigan, one of many states tinkering with the possibility of moving high school football and other fall sports to the winter or spring, Gov. Gretchen Witmer suggested the switch more than a week ago in a Detroit News article.

“I’m also calling on the Michigan High School Athletic Association to consider postponing fall sports that have the impossibility of social distancing as a part of them, considering moving those to the spring and running some of the more individualized sports like track and field or tennis or golf to the fall,” Whitmer said. “I anticipate a decision from them somewhere around July 20 to 25, is what they’ve indicated.”

Since the governor’s suggestion was made public, the MHSAA reiterated its plan to stick with the traditional order of sports seasons.

In Texas, one of the hotspots of coronavirus explosion, the situation for fall sports is grimmer than ever. The Dallas Independent School District Superintendent, Michael Hinojosa, told MSNBC today that he has major doubts.

“That’s a true contact sport, I don’t see how we can pull that off. There’s been some discussion of moving it to the spring, but we’ll have to wait and see. I don’t, I seriously doubt that we can pull that off,” Hinojosa told MSNBC.

Texas reported 98 deaths due to COVID-19 on Wednesday, a new high. In another report, a handful of coaches met with an NBC Fort Worth news affiliate and expressed a willingness to move football season to the spring.

This echoes what veteran Saint Louis Coach Ron Lee has said for several months, that scheduling for all sports would be better served by moving higher risk sports — football, wrestling, competitive cheer — to the spring while switching lower risk sports to the fall.

“If we start (games) in September and we have three or four (football) kids who are tested positive, are we going to cancel the season? What is the protocol. That is my question. Guaranteed there will be positive cases,” Lee said. “Make a decision. Say, Jan. 15 is the first game, then you have four months to finish the (football) season, and move the manageable sports earlier.”

Lee has coached prep and college football since 1969.

“(Lower-risk sports) don’t have to use a locker room. There’s no equipment,” he noted. “But if you don’t utilize August, September or October, everything’s going to get bunched up (in winter and spring), and you have to cut this, cut that.”

Also, as of Thursday, there is now precedent for switching seasons. The California Community College Athletic Association announced that all sports will move to the spring. There will be a games reduction of 30 percent and postseason competition will be regional.


  1. Get Real July 10, 2020 7:35 am

    Spring sports already got cancelled for high school earlier this year now Ron Lee is suggesting moving those “lower risk sports” to Fall. Why? So when numbers spike those sports can get cancelled for a second year. Spring sports have the best chance of being played because the virus might be under control by then. Next he’ll ask for an exemption for his held back players turning 20 during the season!

  2. Hi Prep Sports Coach July 10, 2020 10:27 am

    If numbers continue to spike, lower risk sports are easier to social distance and manage. This idea brings an opportunity for more athletes to participate in the sport they enjoy.
    Also, spring sports were just canceled leaving thousands of athletes with season cut short. At least this brings more of an opportunity for the lower risk sports from spring to get back at it.

  3. roots July 13, 2020 8:12 pm

    Football should be moves to the Spring. It generates the most money. It is by far the most watched. a

    It’s unfortunate that Spring sports got canceled last year. But non contact ones like baseball and boys volleyball should be moved to the Fall.

    It’s easier to social distance and has far less contact.

    If it gets canceled again, it’s unfortunate. But the interest isn’t close to football. So football should be taken care of.

  4. Wala'au July 14, 2020 3:46 pm

    @roots – would be kind of hard to see a flying baseball in the Fall when the sun sets earlier then in the spring. There are very few lighted baseball fields in the state. I could see boys volleyball, but certainly not baseball or softball.

  5. roots July 17, 2020 12:51 pm

    That’s a fair point. Maybe shorten the season and have day games. Who knows?

  6. jim July 22, 2020 9:25 am

    If the pandemic should affect fall sports then push back every sport to the spring. Granted there are many athletes that play multiple sports but these are unusual times and we have to start thinking outside of the box. If the sun goes down too early for baseball and softball games during the fall then play doubleheaders on Saturdays. Whatever it takes. These are unusual times. Don’t we as coaches always preach to make adjustments. Well now is a good time to practice what we preach.

  7. Dennis Halloran August 4, 2020 12:24 pm

    Max Preps show Mater Dei playing at St Louis in Late August

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