HHSAA handbook spells out pairing procedures

This does not make for exciting reading, but it does explain why the HHSAA seeds teams the way it does for tournaments.

In the recent girls soccer tournament, and now, for the released pairings of the upcoming boys basketball tournament, there seemed to be some oddities, leaving people wondering if there was some fiddling going on.

Copies of the seeding/pairings procedures are available in a coaches information packet given to school representatives at the tournament’s coaches meetings. The coaches information packet for each tournament is also readily available on the HHSAA website.


In soccer, four Oahu teams flew to Kailua-Kona to play against one of the other Oahu teams. Very odd, but, in actuality, the HHSAA seeding committee flowed in teams to the various brackets following the guidelines in its handbook.

Obviously, some confusion could have been spared if the Big Island site was a bit more specific (i.e. Kailua-Kona or Hilo) and nailed down well before the tournament. But due to miscommunication, some teams were still not sure where they were going the week of the tournament.

And then there are those who are debating if Punahou, Kalaheo and Kahuku being put into the same boys basketball bracket is a result of tinkering by the committee.

The boys basketball procedures are below. If you’ve read this far, keep going and then compare it, in general, to any state tournament bracket in any sport. Even if somebody was guilty of favoritism, they wouldn’t be able to. Not enough leeway in the guidelines.

Some leeway for foul play could come into play during the choosing of seeds No. 1 through No. 4. For instance, and this is just a theoretical example, mind you, a team could possibly be seeded higher than it deserves in order to get an easier road.

But even then, by and large in most tournaments (with the exception lately of girls basketball, which has seen a huge growth in strength on the Big Island and Maui), the ILH and OIA get the No. 1 and 2 seeds and the BIIF and MIL get the Nos. 3 and 4 seeds. And, as you see in the rules below, they are trying to avoid, at all costs, the top two teams in each league being in the same bracket. Again, little to no room for alleged “creativity.”


The handbook rules are below. if you still have any questions, call the HHSAA.

VIII. SEEDING/PAIRING
A. Seeding/Pairings shall be done by the Tournament Seeding/Pairing Committee.HHSAA HANDBOOK BASKETBALL
1. HHSAA Executive Director, Chairperson
2. Sport Coordinators
3. Tournament Director
4. Others as selected by the Sport CoordinatorB. Seed the league champions.

B. Seed the league champions.

C. Place the league’s 2nd representative in the opposite half bracket based on league champion’s seed. EXAMPLE:
The state’s top seeded league will place their 2nd representative in the same quarter bracket as the state’s 3rd
seed.)

D. Place the league’s 3rd representative in the opposite quarter bracket of the league’s 2nd representative.

E. Place the league’s 4th representative in the same half bracket opposite quarter bracket from league champion.


F. Place the league’s 5th representative in the same quarter bracket as the league champion. If the bracket is full,
place the 5th representative in the last remaining open slot.

G. Place the league’s 6th representative in the only remaining slot.

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