For the first time in decades, the HUB Goodwill Senior Bowl has been sidelined.
The annual senior all-star game featuring football players from the ILH and OIA was not sanctioned this year by either league due to a lack of insurance. In recent seasons, the game was played at high school fields. Last year’s game, won by the East 20-7, was played at Mililani’s John Kauinana Stadium.
OIA football coordinator Harold Tanaka confirmed the news.
The exhibition game used to have two to three weeks of preparation for its participants. In more recent years, that was reduced to one week, and games were still largely one-sided or dominated by defenses most times. But the gathering of many top seniors on Oahu for practices was still quite a unique environment for players, coaches and media.
Tanaka said that the newly-formed Life Champion Senior Bowl in Hilo may also suffer the same fate unless the BIIF sanctions that exhibition game. That event is scheduled for Dec. 6.
UPDATE 1:40 p.m.
Heard back from BIIF executive director Lyle Crozier, who said the exhibition game in Hilo is still on as far as he knows.
According to the HHSAA (and DOE) rules, this is a “red” period, which means no DOE coaches or equipment are allowed to be used in exhibition games.
The game could be played at a non-DOE facility, such as Kamehameha-Hawaii or Wong Stadium, Crozier added. The BIIF did not sanction the exhibition game.
“We’re not involved at all with this,” Crozier said.