ILH and OIA create football merger

An Oahu high school football dream is becoming reality.

Sources close to the situation confirmed to KHON2 Sports Director Rob DeMello Tuesday that the OIA and ILH have agreed to play a full slate of interleague regular season matchups in 2018.

The two-year pilot program, first reported by the Hawaii Prep World, has been agreed to by both the public and private school leagues.

The two sides are just now finalizing details, and although it is not considered a hangup, the ILH principals still have to sign off on the deal.

“For this to happen, this is a great day for football,” Cover2: Hawaii High School Football Weekly analyst Rich Miano said “This from a safety standpoint, a competitive standpoint, a revenue standpoint. The gods are smiling down on football in general. We’ve been craving for this. Fans have been craving for it. I think it just makes it more competitive because it makes it more safe. It makes it more revenue producing which all of these schools need this revenue to play this game of football. I just think it’s a win-win for everybody.”

The format will have teams from the Open Division, Division I, and Division II between each league play each other once during the regular season before the respective league playoffs.

All games will count toward overall records, but league games will be the only deciding seeding for postseason play.

In regards to the state tournament, births will remain the same in the ILH with the league receiving one spot in each division.

The OIA will get 3 bids into the Open Division, with the remaining berths dependent upon KIF classification.

Whichever division the KIF decides to declare its champion for, Division I or II, will feature 2 OIA teams. The other division that doesn’t have a KIF team will feature a format of one bid per league.

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