State girls soccer set for Waipi'o
Bye-bye Jumbotron. Hello natural grass.
All four days of the state high school girls soccer championships will be played at Waipi'o Peninsula Soccer Park next Feb. 13-16.
The Hawai'i High School Athletic Association rejected Waipi'o as a location for the semifinal and final rounds last year because of insufficient seating and parking, inadequate locker rooms and the inability to charge admission at the unfenced stadium field.
The City and County of Honolulu, owner of the complex, already is building additional cement bleachers and "has promised to do everything necessary to make the facility satisfactory to hold the tournament," said Keith Amemiya, executive director of the HHSAA.
Moving to the city facility from the state's Aloha Stadium, where the semifinals and finals, at least, have been played 12 of the past 13 years, means giving up the Jumbotron video replays favored by participants and fans.
It also means playing on natural grass, favored by most coaches, instead of artificial turf, on which unpredictable bounces of soccer balls have affected the outcome of some games.
The state boys soccer tournament will be played at Maui's War Memorial Stadium Feb. 6-9. It has been played mainly at Aloha Stadium all but one year since 1989 and would move to Waipi'o in 2003 if the girls tournament is successful there.
Another notable change on the 2001-02 schedule is that boys basketball will be played at Blaisdell Arena. The championship games have been played at Stan Sheriff Center the last three years, but there is a schedule conflict with University of Hawai'i this year.