After a busy offseason that brought about a healthy serving of change, BIIF squads finally know what their seasons will look like.
The league finalized and announced what the schedule will be for the new-look BIIF on Monday, which includes an additional three teams in D-II with Kohala, Pahoa and Ka‘u making the move from the 8-man game, and some division shuffling, with Konawaena and Honokaa making the jump to compete in Division I.
D-I will feature: Konawaena, Hilo, Keaau, Kealakehe, Waiakea and Honokaa.
D-II will have: Kamehameha-Hawaii, HPA, Pahoa, Kohala and Ka‘u.
It is the first time the BIIF will have 11 teams since the league began sponsoring the sport in 1956.
Previously, with an eight-team league, everyone played each other once during the BIIF season, regardless of division. Now, divisional opponents will play each other twice per season in home-and-aways. There will be one D-II team on a bye per week.
As they did last year, west side rivals Konawaena and Kealakehe will kick off the season early on Aug. 17. This is to account for the Wildcats’ non-league game on Aug. 23 against California powerhouse Mission Viejo at Julian Yates Field.
The Waveriders faced a similar situation last year, starting the season early against Konawaena before taking off for a non-league matchup against Utah squad, Desert Hills.
The rivals meet again on Thursday, Sept. 26 — a date where they will also be the only two BIIF teams playing — giving the matchup some extra oomph.
With the Wildcats making the jump to D-I, it’s the first time since 2003 — when the league implemented the divisional format — that the two west side schools will be completing directly for the same title.
Defending D-II champion Kamehameha-Hawaii decided to stay put, but will still get a sprinkle of D-I competition in the preseason. Waiakea (Aug. 10) and defending D-I champion Hilo (Aug. 16) are both on the Warriors’ preseason slate.
What is not on the schedule is Kamehameha’s annual rivalry game with Keaau, which was dubbed the Kipimana Cup.
Another rivalry not taking place this season is between Honokaa and HPA. The Dragons, under Fred Lau — who led the team to its only D-I title in 2009 and returned program the team this offseason — get their first taste of D-I action against Waiakea on Aug. 24.
Hawaii Prep has a challenging preseason matchup against KIF contender Kapaa on its preseason docket, and will look to earn its first league win in over two years against Pahoa in the league opener for both teams on Aug. 22.
An important late season matchup will be on Oct. 25 between Konawaena and six-time defending D-I champ, Hilo. Since 2016, the only team to edge the Vikings in league play has been Konawaena, which accomplished the feat with a 24-14 victory in 2017 — the year that Hilo went on to win the state championship.
The top two teams in each division make it to the postseason. There are no semifinals. The BIIF championships will be held on Nov. 1-2, while the HHSAA tournament kicks off on Nov. 15.
There is a built-in BIIF bye week at the end of the season that could be utilized if games during the season are postponed due to bad weather.