While the Maui Interscholastic League enters its fourth season of 8-man football — its second year as a championship sport — another league has adopted the game.
Ka‘u athletic director Kalei Namohala confirmed that the Big Island Interscholastic Federation is ready to kick off in the sport this fall.
Unlike the MIL, there won’t be a full season of experimentation by participating teams — the minimum number of entries necessary to qualify a championship sport. Ka‘u, Kohala and Pahoa will compete for the BIIF’s 8-man football crown.
Last year, Ka‘u competed against a few teams, a mix of 8-man programs like MIL champion Seabury Hall, and BIIF junior-varsity squads.
At Kohala, AD Laurie Koustik embraced the idea last year as numbers declined for 11-man football. The school has a van that will be used to make the 251-mile round trip from Kapaau town to Pahala, where Ka‘u High School is located. The round-trip distance from Kapaau to Pahoa is 197 miles.
Access to cheap transportation is a gift. Renting a bus for those distances runs between $400 and $500.
The HHSAA recognizes a state championship sport when a minimum of three leagues participate. Namohala noted that two schools in the Interscholastic League of Honolulu were interested in 8-man football, but they could not find a third participant this year.
Here is a site that describes the 8-man game: