POSTED: 5:09 p.m. HST, Sep 19, 2011
LIHUE >> A high school football game on Kauai cut short when the lights turned off prematurely will be discussed this week.
The Kauai Interscholastic Federation Board will make a ruling on Saturday's game at Vidinha Stadium where the lights went out at the start of the fourth quarter with Kapaa leading Kauai 7-6, according to a report Monday by The Garden Island.
A programming error of the lights caused the outage, which could not be fully restored.
The game was called off when it was determined it was too dark to safely finish the game, which started at 4:45 p.m.
"The league fully supports the officials as the health and safety of the athletes is of the utmost concern and importance," Kaua'i Complex Area Superintendent Bill Arakaki told the newspaper. "We appreciate the understanding, patience and cooperation of everyone involved as the league looks into the ruling and determines the outcome in resolving the situation."
He said the coordinator for football, Jon Kobayashi, and the athletic directors will review the rules and regulations before presenting their findings to the board, which consists of three high school principals.
High school games are being played on Saturday afternoons instead of Friday nights because the county, which is on probation from the U.S. Department of Justice, has been ordered to comply with federal laws protecting the endangered and threatened seabirds.
Seabirds like the Newell's shearwater follow the moon and stars while migrating to sea during the fall fledgling season. But the bright lights at tennis courts, football stadiums and other facilities throw the birds off course, causing them to become disoriented. The birds circle the artificial lights and fall to the ground exhausted, where they're at risk of being attacked by cats or run over by cars.
The population of the Newell's shearwater, which numbered about 80,000 in the mid-1990s, has plunged 75 percent in recent years as Kauai grew in size and added more lights that confuse the birds.
Last year, the county entered into a plea deal after agreeing to be charged with a single misdemeanor count of violating the Migratory Bird Treaty Act. As part of that plea deal, the county has taken a number of steps to reduce the impact to the birds, including shielding the lights at Vidinha Stadium.
The games were also moved to Saturdays last year.