Far East athletics events calendar for school year 2013-14

UPDATES eighth paragraph to clarify Far East wrestling tournament competition and travel dates.

Perhaps the most significant aspectmabout the DODDS-Pacific Far East athletics events calendar for school year 2013-14 is the lack of movement of tournaments from old locales to new.

The docket, released officially on Tuesday to Stars and Stripes, shows only five of 19 events changing locations: Far East wrestling from Nile C. Kinnick to Yokota, Division I girls basketball from Yokota to Kinnick, D-II girls volleyball from Daegu High to Zama American, D-II girls basketball from Robert D. Edgren to Daegu and D-II boys basketball from Zama to Matthew C. Perry.

Every other event remains in place, largely because DODDS-Pacific officials are satisfied with the way most events, even those due to rotate because they’ve been in place for two years, are being run by the host schools’ organizers.

DODDS-Pacific Far East athletics coordinator Don Hobbs cited D-I and D-II softball, which tournament director Ed Fogell of Kinnick will keep for a third year and run at Naval Air Facility Atsugi’s Ranger softball field complex in Japan; and track and field, which remains at Yokota for a third year under director Tim Pujol, meet timers Beau Veazey and Bruce Carrick and a small army of GI volunteers.

Another arrangement that seemed to work, officials said, was the change in dates and venues of the Far East baseball tournaments. D-I was co-hosted by Yokota and American School In Japan (Day 1 of pool play) and began two days after the track and field to ensure no billeting conflicts, and organizers at both venues said the co-hosting went swimmingly well. Likewise, D-II baseball began the day after softball ended, to avert a billeting conflict with softball at Atsugi, and they, too, went off without a hitch. The same arrangement will continue next May.

Some date changes do dot the calendar. Both D-I and D-II football games will be played the same week, Nov. 8 and 9 at sites to be determined. The football season schedule hasn’t been released yet (that should come Thursday), but Hobbs said with a handful of changes, the season schedule will mirror that of the 2012 season.

Osan American, which faces a drastic enrollment reduction, will field a non-varsity team for the coming season, as will soon-to-open Humphreys American High School. That leaves just two varsity teams in Korea, Seoul American and Daegu High.

Wrestling, which ran concurrently with the four Far East basketball tournaments in February, will move back to its customary week before basketball, as a way to lighten the burden of acquiring airline tickets for so many people in one week as well as the demand on buses. But unlike past years when wrestling ran from Monday-Thursday with Sunday and Friday as travel dates, it will go from Thursday-Saturday with Wednesday and Sunday as travel dates, so students will miss one day less of school, Hobbs said.

DODDS-Pacific will retain international freestyle as the Far East wrestling tournament format for at least one more year, Hobbs said. A decision whether to change over to collegiate folkstyle as used in the States and DODDS Europe is “on hold” for now.

For the fall season, volleyball squads will be reduced from 10 players to nine as a cost-cutting measure, but tennis and cross-country teams will remain the same size, four boys and four girls for tennis and five each for cross country. There had been talk of cutting tennis and cross country by one athlete per sex, but especially where tennis goes, having just three players per male or female teams would make playing singles, doubles and mixed doubles unsustainable; there simply wouldn’t be enough players to fill all five brackets.

Following is the complete Far East schedule for school year 2013-14, event, date, host school and site:

-- Division II football, Nov. 8, site to be determined.
-- Division I football, Nov. 9, site to be determined.
-- D-I/II boys and girls tennis, Nov. 4-7, Kadena (Risner Tennis Complex, Kadena Air Base, Okinawa).
-- D-I/II boys and girls cross country, Nov. 4-5, Kinnick (Camp  Fuji, Naval Air Facility Atsugi, Japan).
-- D-II girls volleyball, Nov. 4-7, Zama (Yano Fitness & Sports Center, Camp Zama, Japan).
-- D-I girls volleyball, Nov. 4-7, Guam High (Charles King Fitness & Sports Center, Naval Base, Guam).

-- D-I/II wrestling, Feb. 13-15, Yokota (Yokota High and Middle Schools, Yokota Air Base, Japan).
-- D-II boys basketball, Feb. 17-19, Matthew C. Perry (Ironworks Fitness & Sports Center, Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni, Japan).
-- D-II girls basketball, Feb. 17-19, Daegu (Warrior Gym, Daegu American School, Camp George, and Kelly Field House, Camp Walker, South Korea).
-- D-I boys basketball, Feb. 17-20, Kubasaki (Kubasaki High School, Camp Foster, and Semper Fit Gym, Marine Corps Air Station Futenma, Okinawa).
-- D-I girls basketball, Feb. 17-20, Kinnick (George I. Purdy Memorial Fitness & Sports Center, Yokosuka Naval Base, Japan).

-- D-I/II track and field, May 19-20 (21 rain date), Yokota (Bonk Field, Yokota High School, Yokota Air Base, Japan).
-- D-I/II softball, May 19-21, Kinnick (King and MacArthur Fields, Naval Air Facility Atsugi, Japan).
-- D-II boys soccer, May 19-22, Perry (Matthew C. Perry High School and Penny Lake Fields, Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni, Japan).
-- D-II girls soccer, May 19-22, Edgren (Hillside Stadium and Eagle Field, Robert D. Edgren High School, Misawa Air Base, Japan).
-- D-I boys soccer, May 19-22, Kadena (Kadena High School and Ryukyu Middle School, Kadena Air Base, Okinawa).
-- D-I girls soccer, May 19-22, Kinnick (Berkey Field, Yokosuka Naval Base, Japan).
-- D-II baseball, May 22-24, Zama (Bandy Field, Naval Air Facility Atsugi, Japan).
-- D-I baseball, May 22-24, Yokota (Mustang Valley, American School In Japan, Tokyo, and Yokota Park, Yokota Air Base, Japan).

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Ornauer on AFN


Stars and Stripes reporter Dave Ornauer talks about the Pacific sports scene on AFN Radio. (Click on right arrow to play file.)


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