The Hawaii High School Athletic Association board approved a one-year pilot for a three-tier football state championship format, which will go into effect this season. Under the new structure, the addition of an Open Division will consist of six teams, with an eight-team Division I bracket and a six-team Division II bracket.
The Open Division will be made up of the Oahu Interscholastic Association’s top four teams, with the Interscholastic League of Honolulu’s top three programs playing for the final two spots.
Based on the league representation formula, the Division I tournament will be composed of four teams from the OIA, an ILH representative, two representatives from the Big Island Interscholastic Federation, and one representative from the Maui Interscholastic League.
The Division II tournament will comprise of two OIA representatives, and one each from the remaining four leagues, including the Kauai Interscholastic Federation champion.
The decision came after several months of talks between the leagues, with preparation for the possibility of this outcome to materialize as early as this season.
The three-week state tournament kicks off Friday, Nov. 4, with the first round, and wraps up Friday, Nov. 18 with Division II/Division I championships doubleheader, and Saturday, Nov. 19 with the Open Division championship.
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