HHSAA proposal to DOH: football, girls volleyball in March

Moanalua's Tayli Ikenaga(16) hits the ball over the Kamehameha block in the first set of the first semifinal match in the HHSAA Girls Volleyball tournament between at Moanalua HS gym on Oct. 25, 2019. Bruce Asato/Star-Advertiser.

The next step for high school sports in Hawaii requires patience.

More patience. In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, the high school sports calendar is in the decisive hands of the Department of Health. The proposal from the Hawaii High School Athletic Association divides the sports season, from January to May, into two segments.

A “Season I” timetable has basketball, bowling, canoe paddling, competitive cheerleading, cross country, soccer, swimming/diving, junior varsity and intermediate tennis and wrestling beginning in January. Season I will be completed in March. 

“Season II”, from March to May, will include baseball, football, golf, judo, kayaking, sailing, softball, varsity tennis, track and field, volleyball and water polo. 

So, the HHSAA is waiting as the DOH deliberates. The DOH’s priority is COVID-19 protocols. The state has not opened public high school campuses yet, and 100-percent in-person attendance on campus is required before prep sports are permitted. Many private schools in the Interscholastic League of Honolulu have reopened doors for students.

‘Iolani football coach Wendell Look, who is also the ILH football coordinator, has been part of the effort to get high school sports back in play.

“That’s the best we can hope for at this point. I don’t think we could play any earlier (than January),” he said. “Just be patient. That’s all we can be right now. Be supportive of everyone that’s making decisions for us as a state, the safety of our people as a state. It won’t please everyone, but know that athletic (administrators) want to get our kids back.”

Kamehameha girls volleyball coach Chris Blake sees the alignment of challenges. Girls volleyball, as with football and competitive cheer, were among the fall sports that were postponed to 2021.

“If it happens, it’s awesome. I think it makes the most sense mainly because it coincides with the boys (volleyball) program, although it would be a week (after the boys),” he said. “It makes sense logistically for the officials and the schools. The facilities. It’s a one-time thing and we’ll see where it goes. There are so many variables that have to go right for this to happen. There are also a lot of multiple-sport athletes. Athletes are going to have to make some tough choices. These are extraordinary times and we’ll do whatever we can to make it all work.”

Kahuku football coach Sterling Carvalho feels grateful, though there will be quite busy winter and spring seasons in athletic complexes across the islands.

“That would be the tricky part, trying to share the facilities. The gym and the field, for all the sports, but I think everybody would be accommodating,” he said. “Maybe practices would have to start later, be shorter, so that’ll be good.”

Further delays would fuel more exporting. Several student-athletes, particularly in football, transferred to mainland schools for the fall and winter seasons.

“We want to keep our athletes in Hawaii,” Carvalho said. “We need a light at the end of the tunnel.”

If the plan is approved by the DOH, winter sports will likely have no preseason games and tournaments.

Kahuku boys basketball coach Brandyn Akana has been optimistic.

“Having a regular season, that’s something, right? Hopefully, this COVID’s been around since March and people know how serious it is. People know how to take precautions and protocols. If we’re smart about it, we can have our youth participate in sports and school activities,” he said.

Akana has spent time in Utah watching son Tausili, a Kamehameha student-athlete, play football this fall.

“The athletic program (at Wasatch High School) has done a great job. The state of Utah has spiked, but at the same time, they’ve been able to be smart about and that’s the most important thing,” Akana said. “If you’re sick, you’re not allowed to show up. All the precautions. I’ve been to their football practices. No sharing water bottles. If you’re not on the field, you are required to wear a mask. Coaches wear masks at all times. Spectators at games, social distancing and everyone wears masks. No gathering or hanging out after games.”


  1. Stanley stable November 4, 2020 10:40 pm

    Give it a rest already. Sports ain’t happening. I seriously don’t see why we need to rush sports back. Just wait until the DOE starts school in January, the cases are going to go way up and everyone can shut up again and stop blaming tourism. Health is the number 1 thing in everyone’s life so treat it that way instead of thinking sports makes or breaks someone. I am so sick of hearing my son/daughter needs it, that’s all they love for and blah blah blah. Also please stop asking for go fund me to send ur child to mainland to play. U should have made better decisions in life.

  2. Paul November 4, 2020 11:13 pm

    March to May for football? Yikes

    Yeah, just scratch football season.

    If you’re a senior why would you risk playing especially if college football is on schedule for the fall season.

    Just speaking on football, this isn’t going to work out. This will definitely ensure families transferring their kids to the mainland for the 2021 season.

  3. James Lee November 4, 2020 11:24 pm

    Enough talk about sports. Let’s focus on getting our kids physically, mentally, emotionally, and financially ready for life. I keep hearing that kids need to play. I assume that your kid is in high school, because young kids have plenty of time to get their sports in. I also assume you are not one of the nitwits having your 7-12 year old play soccer or flag football during tier 2 and then about to blame the tourists for the upcoming spike in COVID cases.
    So, if your high school kid needs a scholarship to go to college you are failing your child. Let’s talk about options… 1) if your kid needs an athletic scholarship, that means you probably qualify for financial aid. Apply for the FAFSA. 2) college classes are typically about 3-4 hours a day. This leaves enough time for him/her to work a full time job and pay his/her way through. 3) I am guessing your kid “wants” to go to the mainland to go to college. Maybe it’s time your adult child learn to work for what they want. Going to the mainland is overrated and if you can’t afford it, then tell them to work for what they want. 4) learn about merit scholarships. That’s where your child earns academic scholarships. That means maybe instead of fundraising to send your child to get exposed, oops, I mean “exposure,” at a mainland camp, spend that money on tutoring. I understand that your lack of experience and need to keep up with everyone else makes you nervous about your child’s athletic future. Let me make it clear for you. If your kid is a stud, they will find a way to get an opportunity. Time to let them be resourceful and learn that they get what they work for. Stop complaining and get to work.

  4. Kainoa November 5, 2020 12:27 am

    The City and County of Honolulu Tier system does NOT apply and excludes organized team sports from educational institutions. This is clearly stated in the Tier system. The Mayor intended to keep high schools sports as State directed , which is why I assume that State DOH is being asked for approval by HHSAA. The Tier system DOES apply for organized team community sports (such as Little League baseball, AYSO soccer, etc) though which mostly rely on the City and County permitted use parks such as Central Oahu Regional Park.

    Please acknowledge this correction to your article. Again, your reference to Tier 4 and the tier system metrics is not applicable.

  5. Paul Honda November 5, 2020 1:01 am

    Thank you.

  6. Idunnonuttin November 5, 2020 3:22 am

    Quit holding your breath, there will be no season in Hawaii this school year… sad to say but it’s the truth!
    Don’t let this stop you from chasing your dreams, TWITTER is your friend. Film your work outs, attend showcases communicate with coaches via Twitter! It’s all on you to push your film out to coaches.

  7. Fullcourt November 5, 2020 10:08 am

    My understanding is that kids on campus would be blended learning for 2nd semester. No way they allow 100% of students on campus unless the virus is gone

  8. Paul Honda November 5, 2020 11:21 am

    That is reasonable and practical. Glad to see the system being flexible.

  9. IloveHawaii November 5, 2020 2:19 pm


    People actually had GoFundMe requests to send their kid to the Showcase??

    As Savage Stanley would say:

    “Also please stop asking for go fund me to send ur child to mainland to play. U should have made better decisions in life.”

    Well, for those that did make it there, go fund me or ohana kicking in, I hope it was fruitful and that you were able to convince some college coach that you are worth their effort. Shout out to the adults that made this happen.

    Btw, some of the stats were pretty gaudy. How good was the competition? Asking for a friend……

  10. Hoggie November 5, 2020 4:42 pm

    Looks like some sports aren’t allowed. My child is in bowling and they do not mention that sport. I wonder why bowling was excluded?

  11. Paul November 5, 2020 6:00 pm

    GoFundMe wow families are getting desperate. That definitely wasn’t necessary.

    Also, that PTP sports camp held in Utah was a money grab camp.

    They knew Hawaii players would be itchy to get exposure especially without them having a season. No college coach was in attendance at the camp & who would look at film at this camp when there’s REAL HS football being played around the states.

  12. 88 November 5, 2020 8:05 pm

    Paul I hear some Name changes are coming…

  13. laakea November 6, 2020 11:20 pm

    please make football and baseball in different seasons those are the two main sports entertainment on hawai’i and the kids want to play both especially the seniors. I just hope as a me being a senior that this season 1 and 2 aren’t set in stone. But thank you guys for at least considering adding sports back to our young high school lives #yolo

  14. NS FAN November 7, 2020 6:51 am

    Paul, 88 is alluding to possible nickname change at a North Shore high school. Any truth to this?

  15. OG RRFL November 8, 2020 7:27 pm

    its confirmed boys. “red raider” and our traditions are no more

  16. really November 8, 2020 9:02 pm


    Done. Red Raiders name is gone. Logo is gone.

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