CAMP FOSTER, Okinawa — Okinawa Football League officials hope increased participation among some teams and shorter and fewer games can lead to more competitive balance in the league’s second year, which starts Sept. 25.

“We’re hoping for a much more competitive league this year,” said commissioner Mike Desmone of Marine Corps Community Services Semper Fit Athletics, which oversees the OFL.

Defending champion Kadena (10-0) and Foster-Futenma, which had to forfeit five of its six victories for using an ineligible player, clearly were head-and-shoulders above teams such as Kinser, which suited up just 13 players some weeks; and Courtney-Hansen and Schwab, which also struggled to field a full squad.

League officials are hopeful that teams maintaining a pool of 45 players, reducing games from 60 minutes to 48, and the elimination of one team (and two games) will eliminate the haves-vs.-have-nots situation that separated the top teams from the bottom last year.

Schwab will not field a team this season, Desmone said, because of mass deployments.

At a preseason coaches’ meeting on Wednesday, Kinser coach Rob Glaister said his player pool had improved by more than 300 percent. Even Ryukyu University plans to suit up more than the 15 or so it regularly brought to games last season.

Kadena, Foster-Futenma, Courtney-Hansen, Kinser and Ryudai each will play a six-game schedule, Desmone said.

Games will be rotated around playing sites at camps Foster and Courtney and Futenma Marine Corps Air Station this year, Desmone said. Every game last season was played at Camp Courtney except the championship, which again is to be played under the lights at Kubasaki High School’s Mike Petty Stadium on Camp Foster.

Also, Desmone said, the bylaw concerning protests over player eligibility has been modified toward avoiding another incident like that marring last season for Foster-Futenma. A team believing an opponent is rostering an ineligible player may file a protest only during that game or until 30 minutes after it’s completed. If the ineligibility is confirmed, only that game will be affected, not previous contests in which that individual may have played, Desmone said.

The regular season is to end Nov. 13. The two-week playoffs are to conclude on Thanksgiving Saturday, Nov. 26, with the league championship game. Desmone said a two-week cushion for duty- or weather-related postponements could push the title game to Dec. 10.

2005 OFL schedule

Regular season

Sunday, Sept. 25

At Camp Courtney

Foster-Futenma vs. Courtney-Hansen, 1 p.m.

Kinser vs. Ryukyu University, 5 p.m.

Sunday, Oct. 2

At Futenma Marine Corps Air Station

Courtney-Hansen vs. Kinser, 10 a.m.

Kadena vs. Ryukyu University, 2 p.m.

Sunday, Oct. 9

At Futenma Marine Corps Air Station

Courtney-Hansen vs. Kadena, 10 a.m.

Foster-Futenma vs. Ryukyu University, 2 p.m.

Saturday, Oct. 15

At Camp Foster

Courtney-Hansen vs. Kinser, 1 p.m.

Kadena vs. Foster-Futenma, 5 p.m.

Sunday, Oct. 23

At Camp Courtney

Kinser vs. Kadena, 1 p.m.

Foster-Futenma vs. Ryukyu University, 5 p.m.

Saturday, Oct. 29

At Camp Foster

Courtney-Hansen vs. Kadena, 1 p.m.

Kinser vs. Foster-Futenma, 5 p.m.

Sunday, Nov. 6

At Camp Foster

Courtney-Hansen vs. Foster-Futenma, 1 p.m.

Kadena vs. Ryukyu University, 5 p.m.

Sunday, Nov. 13

At Futenma Marine Corps Air Station

Kinser vs. Ryukyu University, 1 p.m.

End regular season



Saturday, Nov. 19

Site to be determined

Fourth-place team vs. regular-season champion

Third-place team vs. second-place team


Saturday, Nov. 26

At Mike Petty Stadium, Kubasaki High School, Camp Foster

Semifinal winners, 6 p.m.

author picture
Dave Ornauer has been employed by or assigned to Stars and Stripes Pacific almost continuously since March 5, 1981. He covers interservice and high school sports at DODEA-Pacific schools and manages the Pacific Storm Tracker.

Sign Up for Daily Headlines

Sign up to receive a daily email of today's top military news stories from Stars and Stripes and top news outlets from around the world.

Sign Up Now