Kauai AJA to open 88th season

LIHUE — The Lihue Builders will host the Hanapepe Rivermen starting at 9 a.m. Sunday at the Vidinha Stadium baseball field to open the 88th season for the Kauai Americans of Japanese Ancestry baseball league.

A formal opening ceremony with remarks from league and government officials will punctuate the day’s schedule of three games, each having a time limit of two hours, 15 minutes.

The second matchup will feature Kalaheo hosting Makaweli starting at 11:45 a.m. Waimea will host Kapaa in the day’s final match starting at 2 p.m.

A new feature of the league is the inclusion of night games starting Feb. 1 when Kapaa hosts Kalaheo at Vidinha Stadium with the first pitch going at 6:30 p.m.

Each team collects two points for a win, and a point for a tie. The league championship will be determined by the team having the most points at the end of the season which hosts its final games on March 11.

If there are two teams with equal number of points at the end of March 11, a playoff will determine the league champion who has the honor of selecting players for the all-star team which will represent Kauai at the state championship.

If there are three teams who hold equal points at the end of the season, the league manager will host a coin flip to determine the playoff pairings.

The Kauai AJA baseball league has its roots in the sugar plantation era when teams were formed based on the camps where the Japanese laborers lived. World War II interrupted the program until the war’s end when the program restarted.

There are six teams in the league — Kapaa, Lihue, Kalaheo, Hanapepe, Makaweli, and Waimea. The state tournament will be hosted at Vidinha Stadium by the Kauai league on April 7 and 8.

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