The Oahu Interscholastic Association is in the process of making big changes in football for 2018.
Harold Tanaka, the OIA football coordinator, did not go into detail because the league is still in the talking stages, but he did say via cell phone on Tuesday that the changes will be “quite drastic.”
Tanaka did not confirm that the league is planning to go to a three-tier format, but in February he mentioned that he thought the league should move to three tiers in 2018.
You can read Tanaka’s comments from this Feb. 19 story.
For more than a few years, there has been an outcry from the general public and some coaches that the league’s competitive balance is not right, with too many mismatches and some teams barely able to field a team going against perennial powerhouses.
In February, Tanaka said three tiers will be “on the table” for 2018. He was also quoted as saying, “Everyone is working for what’s best in the OIA and what’s best statewide. We’re trying hard to get it right.”
To some, the OIA’s political maneuvering designed to kill the three-tiered state tournament for 2017 was 180 degrees from Tanaka’s February comment. The OIA voted as a bloc and it effectively led to a compromise designed by the Hawaii High School Athletic Assocation’s football committee in which the three tiers were saved but that the OIA will only be participating in two.
But if you look closer and take Tanaka at his word, he had 2018 in mind; in other words, the OIA felt it was not ready for the three-tiered pilot program in 2016 nor the continuation of it in 2017.
But it might be ready come 2018.
When asked for details about the 2018 changes, Tanaka said that the league will be in discussions throughout this season, but that no decisions will be made until after the season.