Hawaii’s High School Athletic Association has canceled its March state championships in a number of sports, but regular seasons can still go on.
Swimming is among the nine sports affected by the HHSAA’s announcement over the weekend. The state’s high school league has canceled state championship events scheduled for March 2021 – but seasons can still go on “if it is deemed safe to do so.” That’s a bit of a middle ground amid the coronavirus pandemic, which caused many states to cancel spring 2020 and fall 2020 sports, but has also led to more regional seasons without a centralized state tournament bringing together athletes from across a state.
The HHSAA says it canceled the March state events in order to allow schools to participate in longer sport seasons, rather than having late-starting sports cut their seasons off early to conform to a March state meet calendar. The state athletic association says it is leaving open the possibility of holding some state tournaments in late May.
HHSAA Executive Director Chris Chun made clear in the association’s press release that the announcement was not canceling sports entirely, but rather canceling state tournament events set for March.
“Our intent for cancelling the first set of state tournaments was to allow our member schools the opportunity to participate in a longer league season, rather than a truncated one with regional and state tournament play for only a limited number of schools,” Chun said in the release, which you can read in its entirety here.
The decision affects air riflery, basketball, bowling, cheerleading, cross country, outrigger canoe paddling, soccer, swimming & diving, and wrestling. March-based state tournaments in those sports have been canceled, but regular seasons can proceed, with the potential for makeup state tournaments in May.
Hawaii’s new daily coronavirus cases grew steadily throughout December, but haven’t quite returned to the state’s peak levels from August, when Hawaii was routinely registering 200+ new COVID-19 cases in a day.