Hawaii football teams will not be holding spring football practices in pads this year, a departure from past seasons when a period of time was set aside for that purpose.
The reason for the change for the Oahu Interscholastic Association and the the three Neighbor Islands leagues (Kauai Interscholastic Federation, Big Island Interscholastic Federation Maui Interscholastic League) is a new rule passed by the Hawaii High School Athletic Association executive board at its last meeting earlier this month. The rule is based on the safety of the players, with the thinking that players are less likely to get hurt if there are no pads and minimal contact.
The rule change does not affect the Interscholastic League of Honolulu, which does not hold spring pads practices.
Teams will continue to work out and do drills in the spring.
“With all the concussion issues we are going through, it’s only smart to cancel full pads during spring,” Campbell head coach Amosa Amosa said. “It’s going to be just like summer practices, so I’m all for it. I used to discuss this matter with my coaches because they all feel that we need to know who are the real players when the pads come on, but it’s proven and it’s very easy for us coaches to have a pretty good feel for those players who can play with or without the pads. So I’m all for the not having spring ball (with pads). Less work for the head coach also, because of issuing out the equipment and collecting it back.”
Hawaii Prep World followed up this article with another about no pads in the spring. In it, Castle head coach Nelson Maeda speaks out against the new rule. To read it click here: http://bit.ly/1OdSkAZ.