Castle’s Maeda does not like spring no-pads rule

Hawaii Prep World recently ran a story, quoting Campbell head coach Amosa Amosa about how he likes a new rule that eliminates pads from spring football sessions.

Now, we get the other side of the coin. Castle head coach Nelson Maeda is not fan of the rule that was passed by the Hawaii High School Athletic Association’s executive board last month.

Here is what Maeda believes about the new rule that takes away a set amount of time Hawaii’s football teams could use full pads with the players engaging in contact drills during spring practice:

Nelson Maeda is one of the deans of the OIA. Bruce Asato / Star-Advertiser
Nelson Maeda is one of the deans of the OIA. Bruce Asato / Star-Advertiser

“In terms of team building and player development, the new noncontact rule hampers it. Some players can look very good in shorts and T-shirts but when the physical contact starts with equipment on, they can turn out to be not very good football players, intimidated by the physicality of the sport. On an individual level, the gun-shy player may practice/participate in one’s off-season and summer program and quit when contact starts … wasting the coaches’, team’s and that individual’s time. In essence, the team is entering the season where a player may have only three to four practices in full gear in July (full-pads practices start July 25) before scrimmaging (teams can scrimmage as early as July 29) with an opponent in a live situation. The following weekend (Aug. 5-6) is already a team’s preseason game. This affects primarily public schools due to the early starting date of the first day of school (Aug. 1), which when taken into consideration of the first day of allowable contact, limits practice days to three to four before the scrimmage window. The private schools, I believe have a later first day of school, which allows them to squeeze more practice time and the teaching and reinforcement of safety techniques.

“By eliminating contact in spring ball, will it decrease the number of concussions? No player has the intent of concussing another player. it’s about practicing safe tackling and blocking techniques to minimize the head-to-head collisions. Due to the high-speed nature of the game, some of that is unavoidable as one cannot always predict where an opponent’s head will be on a given play. Spring ball allowed the gradual teaching progression of those techniques over 10 days vs. the now 3-4 days compression of practices in July.”

Maeda added, on a self-proclaimed “selfish” note that one good point about the no-pads srping practices is that he deosn’t have to worry about fitting and distributing equipment and worrying about getting the equipment back on time. Now, he can wait until late July to fit and distribute the equipment.

The new rule only affects the state’s public schools because private schools already do not use pads during spring football.

To read Amosa’s opposite point of view concerning spring practices, click here:


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

By participating in online discussions you acknowledge that you have agreed to the Star-Advertiser's TERMS OF SERVICE. An insightful discussion of ideas and viewpoints is encouraged, but comments must be civil and in good taste, with no personal attacks. If your comments are inappropriate, you may be banned from posting. To report comments that you believe do not follow our guidelines, email