Oahu Interscholastic Association (OIA) Cancels Winter and Fall Sports 


Photo Courtesy: Sophia Johnasen

Rhea Wojack

     On January 5, 2021, the Oahu Interscholastic Association (OIA) announced the cancelation of all winter and fall sports for the 2020-2021 school year, due to COVID-19. OIA had previously postponed the winter and fall seasons while they determined whether or not to have them during the pandemic. 

     “Number one will always be everybody’s safety. As much as everyone would want to play and go back to what is normal, I think it’s really hard when we have to think of other people first before we can do the things we really wanna do,” said JV Girls Softball coach and health teacher Glenelle Nitta. 

     OIA reported that they were thinking of ways to conduct practices and games during the pandemic and keep the athletes, coaches and spectators safe. However, there were too many issues that made conducting a safe fall and winter season difficult. Instead of trying to solve the problems that kept piling up about the safety of those involved, they decided to shift their focus on the upcoming spring sports. The cancellation heavily affected senior students athletes who cannot have that last season before their graduation.

      “I feel like I haven’t gotten a chance to redeem myself from last season,” said Co-captain of the Varsity Swim team senior Sophia Johnasen. “Especially since I wanted to leave on a high note and finally qualify for my 100 back for states, since I’ve missed it by half a second for the last two years.” 

    That is not the only challenge for student athletes; without a winter and fall season, those who are looking for scholarships are left with one year less to get scouted. Scouting is the process of college coaches watching students play and determining whether or not to offer them a scholarship for their school. The break can also cause athletes to lose interest in continuing a certain sport or leave them out of shape. 

     “I guess my biggest worry is how many girls we may lose from playing basketball after not playing for this long. If they decide, well, life is kinda good without playing,” said Girls Varsity Coach Michael Oyama. “We’re gonna have our dedicated ones that I know who are going to be playing; it’s those who were on the fence.”

     However, the break has allowed student athletes to focus more on school and many academic challenges. Co-captain of the Girls Varsity Basketball team junior Jenna Sagon-Galisa was able to have more time to focus on school stuff and college preparation.

     OIA has not reported anything on the spring season, but there is hope that the season will continue with procedures to ensure the safety of athletes, coaches, and spectators. For more information, go to the OIA official website at https://www.oiasports.com/