HHSAA: Independent, large-group workouts discouraged, not banned

The Hawaii High School Athletic Association’s update on Monday about no-contact rules extended to Aug. 18, but Executive Director Chris Chun expounded on the announcement.

On Tuesday morning, Chun noted that workouts for student-athletes away from campus with independent groups are technically not banned by the HHSAA. The issue surfaces when team coaches are in contact with players from the same school.

Groups of student-athletes from various sports and schools are free to work out with non-school coaches, Chun added. That scenario is not ideal, he said, but the updated policy does not reach that far.

“Technically, no. But it defeats the purpose of what we are trying to do,” he said. “We want to keep kids safe by wearing masks, socially distancing, and discouraging large groups. These large practices, if done with limited safety guidelines, threaten our ability to hold a season. Can you imagine if there was a mass breakout caused by one of them?”

Across Oahu, there have been accounts of football players that worked out with position coaches, some on campus and some at other facilities. The HHSAA had already warned about usage of city and county fields by school teams last month. Chun urges as safe an environment as possible in these independent (non-school coached) settings.

“Stick to virtual workouts and small groups to train for now and strengthen our chance to have a season this year,” he said.

Virtual meetings, the HHSAA says, are allowed. Hawaii Baptist Academy Athletic Director Deren Oshiro sits on the HHSAA’s Start Date/Calendar Committee.

“With school coaches,” Oshiro said, “absolutely no physical communication or contact.”

Enforcement of the HHSAA policy is dependent on individual schools. There will be no first-warning type of leniency.

“Schools will self report to their leagues,” Chun said. “Then we will investigate and implement (discipline). No warnings.”

Football practices are scheduled to begin on Aug. 19 statewide. The first day of classes for public schools remains Aug. 4.


  1. ILoveHawaii July 21, 2020 11:06 am

    Mad love to those schools who HAVE NOT broken this rule.

  2. Yeah Right July 21, 2020 11:11 am

    They just neva get caught yet.

  3. Keoni July 21, 2020 11:59 am

    How can athletics start up Aug 19 when schools require 6′ distance in classrooms? Football and most other sports are face to face, especially Football where they’re right on top of each other. What’s priority? There should be consistency through out all school activities.

  4. ILoveHawaii July 21, 2020 12:23 pm

    Yeah Right-

    Do tell.
    “They” who??

  5. Shaka Braddah July 21, 2020 12:25 pm

    Move the start to spring and move spring sports to fall way less contact sports in spring. Just my thoughts

  6. $.02 July 21, 2020 1:49 pm

    Let’s face it. There isn’t going to be a season. But the question I have is, what’s the plan? When do you deem it “safe”? Are we waiting for a vaccination? Are we waiting for a new and comprehensive understanding of the virus before we make a plan? If so, just cancel indefinitely already.

    This thing isn’t going away and the probability of understanding the full impact of the virus is years away. Even if we were able to get it under control locally, once you open to tourism again, it’ll be back.

  7. Whatsamattau July 21, 2020 2:19 pm

    Every Wednesday, while exercising, I see a bunch of kids working out at San Souci (Kaimanas) at 7:30 am. A lot of them wear Maryknoll shirts, I believe. There are about 30 kids working out with a coach, not wearing masks or practicing social distancing. Legal or not?

  8. Bu-Lyah July 21, 2020 3:33 pm

    I also see a ton of kids training in Ewa with a coach in the afternoons, a ton of kids training in waianae, and there’s proof because Felipe takes pictures of these kids and posts them.
    Up until this point it has been legal.

    What I just found out with the kids in Ewa is that they have been training with a personal trainer or non coach from the previous high school staff. As long as those kids with “maryknoll shirts” aren’t working with a high school coach that was on staff. I’m sure that’s fine. Probably pac5 football players or basketball. LOL

  9. roots July 21, 2020 4:14 pm

    If they have a group of over 10 and they are not social distancing, then per the last Mayor’s proclamation, it is against the law and can be cited.

    I could be wrong though if the Mayor amended it.

    This has nothing to do with the HHSAA.

  10. Parental Advisory July 21, 2020 5:03 pm

    It is legal to my understanding if they are training like how other articles have highlighted in hawaiiprepworld.
    Kids are trying to workout and prep for their season.
    If the law is 10 kids per group then you’re looking at a ton of speed and conditioning coaches under fire because on social media there are tons of kids working out all over the island for football.
    QB’s work in a bunch of groups, In Ewa at Gentry park there are tons of kids working out, Maili elementary, Manana Park, Hauula. Kids are just trying to prepare for this upcoming season. No masks? So I’m not sure whats going to happen if they plan on policing every single workout there is.

    But everything is legal if there is no coach from the previous year. So from the workouts i’ve been too and seen. These are legal.

  11. Observing July 22, 2020 7:48 am

    I don’t see Hawai’i High School football happening this season along with other Fall sports. I think UH football is over. Most of the major conferences have gone to only conference play to avoid airports and airplanes. For a lot of seniors, this is unfortunate. For college eligibility this will have to be an NCAA decision at some point.

    Unless HHSAA has a regular testing plan in place for all athletes and requiring these kids live in a bubble as much as they can, this is a no-go. Oh well

  12. coconut wireless July 22, 2020 9:04 am

    The teams that get hurt are the ones who have been following the rules of no practice. Plenty teams been having organized sessions down the parks & beaches. I can’t remember a team ever being reprimanded for illegal practice even before the Pandemic Crisis. Until that happens, just empty worlds to cover their behinds that the situation has been addressed.

  13. ILoveHawaii July 23, 2020 11:42 am

    So true.

    The kids know…..
    Through their actions, coaches just showing them that it is okay to break the rules.

    Losing sight of what football is all about.
    If you can prove that certain coaches broke the rule, suspend those coaches for a year.
    There has to be some accountability.
    Come on OIA/ILH lets take a stand for fair play and teaching our students the right way of doing things.

  14. The guy from the Bushes July 29, 2020 12:35 pm

    I dont know how you guys plan to still have football in the fall. This is outrageous that the state is still thinking about trying to have a season in the fall. Look at the mainland schools , they all moving to spring. I predict if football goes in the fall here, in about a week or two season will be done, because coaches and players will get and thats the reality of it. and once a person has it, the whole team has to quarantine. Now what if this happened during a week of a game? if a player or a coach has it , since a 2 week quarantine is required , does that mean that team forfeits the next 2 games? You guys see what im saying here. Its impossible to have football at this time in the fall, no way. Not only that , your going to give the kids and coaches 2-3 weeks to prepare for a game? Cmon man , thats where injuries starts coming into play. What about having fans at the game? This is why high school football is the greatest thing, THE FANS. With that all said, I dont know how the state plans on letting this go. SMH. State of Hawaii is Embarrassing.

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