Football player’s family challenging little known practice rule that sidelined their son’s season

The family says the rule is unfair.

Football player’s family challenging little known practice rule that sidelined their son’s season

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Week after week, St. Francis High School football player Skylar Kalilikane-McMoore faithfully suits up for practice.

But come game time, the 16-year-old’s relegated to rooting on teammates.

"Cheering them on is no problem. I love doing it but it would be much better if I was on that field, too," he said.

Skylar is sidelined because of a little known rule in the Hawaii High School Athletic Association's administrative regulations.

When he was a ninth-grader he played for Pearl City’s junior varsity. The following summer he practiced with the varsity squad.

But Skylar transferred to St. Francis before his sophomore year started.

Following the transfer rules, he sat out his sophomore season.

“We thought we adhered to the rules when we transferred,” Skylar’s father said.

But Fata McMoore said his son was blindsided.

School officials told Skylar he would also have to forfeit his junior season of eligibility because of an HHSAA regulation called the 7-day practice rule.

It states that a student participates in a sport "if the student has attended organized practices at the school or with the school's varsity and/or junior varsity teams for seven or more days."

The organization applied the rule to Skylar’s practice time with Pearl City two summers ago.

His family say it's unfair.

"He's getting punished for practicing," Fata McMoore said.

He said his son never attended Pearl City during his sophomore year and didn't play in any games for the Pearl City team that year.

“But just because he practiced for seven days my son has got to sit out two years! That’s what this rule is basically telling us,” he said.

The ILH let Skylar play this season for St. Francis but only in games against ILH schools.

Of the team’s eight games just one was against an ILH opponent.

The showdown with Pac-Five was the only game Skylar was allowed to get on the field.

"It meant a lot to the team, especially the coaches," Skylar said. "They threw in a play for me so I could have fun in my only game this year."

“That was our Super Bowl, our Prep Bowl. That was everything. It meant a lot,” Fata McMoore said.

The McMoores have taken their case to court.

“I feel bad for this young man. It’s really a travesty what’s happened to him. The games that he’s lost he can’t get that time back,” attorney Mark Valencia said.

Skylar’s parents hope a judge issues a preliminary injunction so Sklyar can play for St. Francis during the playoffs.

"I wish I was playing too," Skylar said.

The HHSAA won't comment because of the court case.

On Friday, St. Francis plays its last regular season game and Skylar will once again be stuck on the sidelines.

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