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New sports for PacWest, HPU to attract colleges to join Division II

by Derek Clarkston, Sports editor

As a result of new NCAA regulations, the Hawai‘i Pacific University Sea Warriors and the other five PacWest Conference participants will battle it out in two new sports come the 2004-2005 school year.


In order for HPU and the conference to receive funds for sports programs, they have to comply with new regulations set forth by the NCAA that require each conference to have five sponsored sports. Right now HPU has four men’s sports: basketball, baseball, cross country, and tennis: and four women’s sports: volleyball, softball, cross country, and tennis.

For the 2004-2005 season, HPU and the PacWest teams decided to add one men’s and one women’s sport—golf—to continue to receive funding from the NCAA and the PacWest conference.

In addition to golf, the PacWest is going to add one additional women’s sport that, while not required, will benefit the conference according to Jarrnett Lono, HPU’s athletic information director. The other sport is still up in the air, but the front runner appears to be women’s bowling. The other sports that have been discussed are archery, riflery, and fencing.

For a sport to be sponsored by the NCAA, at least six teams in the conference have to offer it. Additionally a champion must be determined by a home series or a tournament at the end of the season. If a sport does not qualify according to the NCAA’s, regulations then the sport becomes a club sport, such as soccer at HPU.

According to HPU’s Athletic Director Russell Dung, the PacWest conference was looking for individual sports, and golf seemed to be the perfect fit.

“Golf seems to be doable especially in Hawai‘i,” said Dung. “Because it’s an individual sport, you can compete as an individual and as a team. The local teams here can compete against each other in match play or tournament play.”

Next season men’s and women’s golf will compete as a club to get a head start and build a foundation for the program. The following year it will become a PacWest Conference sport.

According to Dung, bowling was brought up because it can be competed electronically—meaning that teams can compete from hundreds of miles away from each other. For example HPU can go to a bowling alley, bowl, then fax their scores to the conference without the other team being present. At the same time the other team is doing the same thing.

“There is some question about bowling. We have to get more specifics about competition,” said Dung. “I think bowling is very big in the south, but you don’t see too much of it on the west coast. I do think though it is an up and coming sport.”

The other sport will probably be revealed in an April 24 meeting among the Athletic Directors of the PacWest schools.

With the addition of two sports to the program, Dung hopes that it will make the conference more attractive for colleges looking to join the ranks of Division II athletics.

“I think the goal of the conference is to get more schools to join, then our sports sponsorship will be more diverse,” said Dung. “Until then we are just kind of hanging out, but hopefully in the next two to three years the PacWest Conference will be expanding.”



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