Insight, News, and Opinion by Nick Abramo
  • March 3, 2021
Hawaii High School Spring Sports Are Still Alive; Fall And Winter Seasons Axed

The good news is that Hawaii high school spring sports are still on the table to start in March.

And there appears to be a solid commitment by administrators to get it done.

The HHSAA board voted to keep all spring sports in play,” Hawaii High School Athletic Association executive director Chris Chun told Hawaii News Now’s Steve Uyehara this morning.

That statement came a day after the OIA — one of five of the HHSAA’s member leagues and by far the largest — sent out a news release announcing it was canceling all fall and winter sports. Before that sudden announcement, all of Hawaii’s 2020-21 high school sports had merely been postponed, with the hope that all could be completed in two separate seasons from January to May.

Another positive aspect of Tuesday’s announcement is that the spring sports will not be canceled for a second year in a row. Last March, COVID-19 reared its ugly head and wiped out all spring sports.

“We understand that we lost them (spring sports) last year,” Chun added in his TV interview. “We’re hopeful we can start up March 1 and have a state tournament in May. I’ve spoken to every league and they all feel the same way. They’re committed to moving forward beginning in March.”

The bad news in all of this, of course, is that due to the jettisoning of the fall and winter campaigns, all of the state’s high school student-athletes are missing out on a key component of their education.

“We’re concerned about these kids who won’t be making memories and won’t experience the value of playing on a team,” Chun told Hawaii News Now.

“Hopefully, these lessons can be made up in another way. Leagues and schools all want to keep practices going and maybe they’ll have intrasquad games going at the school level, maybe even scrimmage against other schools if it gets to that point.”

Among the negatives in all of this is that many of Hawaii’s college-bound, blue-chip athletes will not get to show their stuff to recruiters.

The fallout also includes the loss of Hawaii’s most popular sport — football.

“I’m not surprised, but I am disappointed by it,” Kaimuki football coach David Tautofi told Hawaii Prep World, which reported on Monday that the OIA was going to be announcing the cancellation of football on Tuesday. ” I expected us to do something, understanding the importance of this to these kids. Especially the ones whose lives depend on it and how much sports influences their well-being in the classroom.”

Tuesday’s news of the OIA canceling fall and winter sports was unexpected. One day earlier, the HHSAA was still hoping to implement the plan of running all sports in two short seasons from January to February. The HHSAA sent out a news release Monday, announcing it was canceling only the state tournaments (air riflery, basketball, bowling, cheerleading, cross country, outrigger canoe paddling, soccer, swimming and diving, and wrestling) for Season 1 of its plan and that there was no change to Season 2 sports (baseball, football, golf, judo, softball, tennis, track and field, water polo and volleyball.)

The latest list of fall and winter sports being canceled and spring sports still scheduled to go on follows.

Fall sports canceled: Air riflery, bowling, cheerleading, cross country, football, girls volleyball, esports.

Winter sports canceled: Boys basketball, girls basketball, canoe paddling, boys soccer, girls soccer, swimming and diving, wrestling.

Spring sports (to run from March to May): Baseball, golf, judo, softball, tennis, track and field, boys volleyball, girls water polo, esports.

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