BIIF adopts divisional format for football

  • TIM WRIGHT/Tribune-Herald Hilo and Kamehameha play a cross-divisional BIIF football game in 2017. With the BIIF ADs voting for a division-only schedule next season, whether the teams are slated to play next season might hinge on if Kamehameha opts to stay in D-II.

Kohala-Hilo football – the BIIF’s version of David vs. Goliath on the gridiron – will not be coming to a venue near you in 2019.

The league’s athletic directors voted Monday to adopt a divisional scheduling alignment for next season, when the Cowboys, Ka’u and Pahoa make the leap from 8-man to form an 11-team football league.


“The format will be divisional, but we have yet to know who is declaring for what division,” BIIF football coordinator Kalei Namohala said in a voice message to the Tribune-Herald, “hopefully we will know that by April.”

Lyle Crozier, the BIIF executive secretary, said three proposals were under consideration at the athletic director’s meeting, including a tiered approach and the play-all format that the league has used in football since 2013.

“The play-everybody format was shot down,” Crozier said.

Teams will play divisional opponents twice each in home-and-aways, a format that is workable, Hawaii Prep athletic director Stephen Perry said, if there are five Division I schools and six in Division II, or vice versa.

That would mean at least one Division II school – Konawaena, Kamehameha, Honokaa or Hawaii Prep – would have to move up to D-I, where Hilo, Kealakehe, Waiakea and Keaau reside. The former 8-man teams are headed to D-II, so the current balance is four in D-I and seven in D-II.

“At least two schools showed some interest in moving up,” Perry said. “We have until April 9 to declare divisions for football.

“We approved (divisions) at 5-6 (D-I to D-II) or 6-5. I don’t want to jinx it, but it looked good.

Perry said if no D-II members decide to move up, the issue will be “revisited.”

In that case, Crozier said a tiered format – which has been used in BIIF sports such as volleyball to separate the traditional powers from the smaller schools via red/white/blue brackets– could still be in play.

Either way, the play-all format is not on the table.

“I think they made the right choice,” Kohala coach Chad Atkins said.


The prospect of eight-man teams such as the Cowboys, who went winless last season, playing six-time defending Division I champion Hilo next season and then having to turn around and play another big school, was a cited as a safety concern and a reason for scrapping the play-all format.

“It’s going to be a tough road regardless (for former 8-man teams),” Atkins said. “I think every school in 11-man has it over all of us.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


By participating in online discussions you acknowledge that you have agreed to the Star-Advertiser's TERMS OF SERVICE. An insightful discussion of ideas and viewpoints is encouraged, but comments must be civil and in good taste, with no personal attacks. If your comments are inappropriate, you may be banned from posting. To report comments that you believe do not follow our guidelines, email