Time To Bring OIA And ILH Together

Larry Price
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Wednesday - November 30, 2005
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One of the largest, if not the largest student programs in our public school system is the Oahu Interscholastic Association (OIA). The sports programs it administers over a school year provide extra-curricular activities for more students than anything else in the Department of Education.

Our public school youngsters learn lessons on the friendly fields of strife which cannot be taught in the classroom. Anyone who wants to participate is afforded the opportunity, and the activities provide a special kind of social cohesion and camaraderie in the communities that cannot be underestimated.

Likewise, the Interscholastic League of Honolulu (ILH, Oahu’s private schools), Big Island Federation and Maui and Kauai Interscholastic Leagues put their differences aside to make the program better. It is a move that is doing wonders in the state of Hawaii.

Over the years they came up with a more comprehensive playoff system that’s run by the Hawaii High School Athletic Association with such amazing grace it has captured the imagination of all the youngsters in the state.

Going to “states,” as they are referred to now, is greatly anticipated and exciting for everyone involved. Parents, students, staff, faculty, general public, the young and old alike all love the higher quality of competition.

It would seem that the rest of our public schools administrators and their governing bodies could learn something from observing such a beneficial and worthwhile educational activity.

There is probably one last great deed for the Hawaii High School Athletic Association to achieve, and it would be a monumental accomplishment. It is probably difficult to merge the private and public school programs into one statewide association that would not be new, but something that worked before with great enthusiasm. A league where the private and public schools square off in a Thanksgiving double header finals would benefit everyone involved. Hopefully, First Hawaiian Bank will continue its sponsorship of the state playoffs, and hopefully someone with the extraordinary consensus-building skills can bring all the various parties together for the good of the athletic programs in your school systems.

Simply put, they need each other. They have been separated long enough. The young boys and girls of the state deserve the highest level of competition.

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