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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Wednesday, April 4, 2001

Preps preparing for walkout

 •  UH to spike despite strike
 •  Teacher strike still on course

By Wes Nakama
Advertiser Staff Writer

The impending Hawai'i State Teachers Association strike would not only bring public high school sports to a screeching halt, it may eventually send the schedule makers scrambling.

 •  Spring State Tournaments

Keith Amemiya said it's difficult to make late changes.
David Ishii Girls Golf — May 3-4 at The Dunes at Maui Lani.

David Ishii Boys Golf — May 10-11 at Kapalua, Maui.

Carlsmith Ball Boys and Girls Tennis — May 10-12 at Kiahuna and Po'ipu Kai tennis clubs, Kaua'i.

Island Movers Boys and Girls Track and Field Championships — May 10, 12 at Maui War Memorial Stadium, Wailuku, Maui.

Girls Basketball — May 15-18 at Stan Sheriff Center, University of Hawai'i.

Wally Yonamine Foundation Baseball — May 16-19 at Aloha Stadium.

A short work stoppage starting tomorrow might cause only a few games to be made up, but a strike lasting two weeks or more could result in drastic changes and, possibly, the cancellation of games. Keith Amemiya, Hawai'i High School Athletic Association executive director, said yesterday that the dates for upcoming state tournaments are "considered to be firm for now," meaning it is up to the individual leagues to finish their schedules and declare their champions and representatives in a timely manner.

"We would love to accommodate them if their schedules had to be pushed back, but it would be tough," Amemiya said. "I'm not saying there's no way. But it would be very difficult."

Amemiya said sites and times for the six spring state tournaments were reserved up to a year in advance and could not easily be changed on short notice. The next scheduled state tournament is the David S. Ishii Foundation Girls Golf Championships set for May 3-4 at The Dunes at Maui Lani.

Three more state tournaments — for tennis, boys golf and track and field — are scheduled for the following weekend. All will be held on the Neighbor Islands.

"Because of the venues we're using, plus the travel and hotel accommodations involved, it would be difficult if not impossible to move those," Amemiya said.

Meanwhile, O'ahu Interscholastic Association officials are bracing for the strike's impact on their league schedules.

OIA baseball coordinator Keith Morioka, the athletic director at Waipahu, has distributed a contingency plan for makeup games to other athletic directors. It covers different scenarios, depending on the length of the teachers strike.

"If we only miss two games (per school), then we would just reschedule both games," Morioka said. "But if it goes past the third game, then that would cause changes to certain schedules. We could possibly move the OIA tournament back a week, but then we would lose Rainbow Stadium as a site and would have to play at home sites. It also may result in cancelling the rest of the JV season, because if (the varsity) were to have rainouts, they'd have no place to go."

If four or more games are lost to the strike, Morioka said, the OIA season and tournament would be moved back a week and might be modified.

"We would need to decide if we could squeeze in the games, or maybe even go to a tournament format just to give everyone a chance," Morioka said.

In the worst-case scenario, a strike lasting more than two weeks could jeopardize the entire season. Morioka said league officials and coaches must take into account sufficient practice time and preparation before resuming play.

"If the strike lasts too long, we may just have to scrap the season," Morioka said. "In some sports, you can come back and play right away. But baseball is not one of those sports. We don't want to injure the kids."

OIA girls basketball coordinator Mel Imai, the Kailua athletic director, said he and other league officials will wait to see how long the strike lasts before making any schedule changes. He said as soon as a settlement is reached, he will meet with other ADs to see how many games can be salvaged.

"We decided that we're not going to stress ourselves out now over 15 different options," Imai said. "There are a lot of variables."

The Hawaiian Airlines Girls State Basketball Championships are set for May 15-18 at the UH's Stan Sheriff Center. Amemiya said that site and time also would be very difficult to move.

OIA track and field coordinator John Kauinana, the Mililani athletic director, said today's relay trials also will serve as "timed finals" in the event Friday's finals get canceled because of the strike. That means the champions in each event could be crowned today based on times, instead of after competition in the finals on Friday.

• UHS to play on: University High assistant athletic director Peter Estomago said he was told the Junior Rainbows would be allowed to honor their commitment to the Interscholastic League of Honolulu schedule. Most of UHS' teachers are members of the University of Hawai'i Professional Assembly, which also is set to strike tomorrow. The ILH seasons will continue uninterrupted.