Hawaii high school football will have three competitive state tournament divisions instead of two under a one-year pilot program this season.
The Hawaii High School Athletic Association executive board voted today to add a third tier called the Open division to the already existing Divisions I and II.
The five Hawaii high school leagues will continue to play their regular season this year the same way they’ve been doing. The three classifications — Open, D-I and D-II — will be for the state tournament only. The Open division and D-II will have six-team tournaments and the D-I tournament will be comprised of eight teams.
The Oahu Interscholastic Association’s top four teams and the Interscholastic League of Honolulu’s two best teams will play in the Open division tournament.
As an example, if this format was in effect last season, the Open teams would have been Kahuku, Mililani, Waianae and Farrington from the OIA and Saint Louis and Punahou from the ILH.
In the D-I tourney, four teams will come from the OIA, two from the Big Island Interscholastic Federation, one from the ILH and one from the Maui Interscholastic League.
The D-II tourney will be comprised of two teams from the OIA and one each from the ILH, MIL, BIIF and Kauai Interscholastic Federation.
It is not clear yet exactly how the five leagues will pick their D-I and D-II representatives.
The state football tournament will be held with first-round games on Nov. 4 and semifinals on Nov. 11. The D-I and D-II championship games will be held Nov. 18, with the Open division title game on Nov. 19.