LIHU‘E — The 52nd annual Hawai‘i Interscholastic Athletic Directors Association conference closed with the approval of change to the state cross country championships and a big no-change to the football playoffs.
Eighty-eight athletic directors from across the state assembled at the Kaua‘i Marriot Resort Saturday morning to put a final vote to proposals that had been deliberated during breakout meetings throughout the week.
The most notable vote Saturday was the approval of the addition of a Division II team title to the state cross-country meet. The athletic directors voted 41 to 38 in favor of the change with nine ADs withholding votes. Originally, it was proposed that the state championships would include four separate races for each division and gender, but an amendment was approved for keeping the championship with only two races designated by gender. The race will be run as it has in past years; the only change will come upon the completion of the race when the top placing Division II school will be awarded a state title. The approved change will not affect individual titles.
While the cross country championships was the longest change discussed, a lack of change to the football playoff system was a hot topic.
A proposal to expand both the Division I and II playoff formats from six to eight teams was shot down by the ADs with a 37-44 vote. The proposed change was voted down during committee hearings on Friday but was brought to the HIADA final vote on Saturday thanks to a minority report from Kamehameha-Maui.
Other notable changes and non-changes:
• The ADs voted against a proposal that would have made Ke‘ehi Lagoon on O‘ahu the permanent location for the State Canoe Paddling Championships. This proposal was debated for nearly 15 minutes with ADs from Neighbor Island schools grumbling before eventually voting it down.
• Beginning in the 2013-2014 school year, no hand times will be accepted as qualifying times for the state track and field competition. The ADs voted 84-4 in favor of the measure.
• A unification in safety training for cheerleading coaches across all the islands was approved. The proposal called for all coaches to complete an online safety training course followed by a yearly review on National Federation of State High School Associations safety guidelines.
Overall, 23 different proposals were approved by the ADs. The approved measures will be voted on Tuesday by the Hawai‘i High School Athletics Association’s executive board. The board has final say on whether or not a measure approved by the HIADA will be put into effect.