Game continues its focus on highlighting culture and football in Hawaii
The Hula Bowl was established in 1946 as the Hula Bowl All-Star Football Classic game.
When the inaugural game was played on January 5, 1947, the teams were composed of mainland college players pitted up against local Hawaiian Islands team.
The teams played a two-game series every January until 1951. It was then, that the format was changed to allow NFL Players to join the Hawaiian All-Stars in an effort to create a more competitive game.
Starting in 1960, the Hula Bowl game was established as an All-Star game that would only invite NCAA college players from schools across the US. The teams were divided into two teams, one team from those colleges located in the Eastern and Western United States. The teams were then split into “Aina and Kai ” teams, the Hawaiian words for land and water.
Throughout its tenure, the game was historically played at the Aloha Stadium in Honolulu, Hawaii. In 1998, the mayor of Maui County requested that the Organizers of the Hula have the game moved to the Island of Maui.
Beginning that year, the game was held at the War Memorial Stadium in the town of Kahului.
In 2006, the Hula Bowl was returned back to its historic home on the beautiful island of Oahu. The game remained on Oahu until the 2008 game.
There has been overwhelming support to return the game to Oahu in 2020. The community extended a gracious and warm welcome as organizers successfully planned the game’s return to Aloha Stadium on January 26, 2020 with Team Kai defeating Team Aina 23-7 at Aloha Stadium.
Former NFL head coaches Rex Ryan and Mike Smith coached the respective teams.
With the game’s newest broadcast partnership with CBS SportsNetwork, the Hula Bowl is continuing to gain momentum as it heads into the 2021 matchup and is focused on becoming the preeminent college all-star football game in the country.