In 9i if u need to log in as sys then it has to be sys as sysdba.
Actually if u could write more about the steps u followed or rather post the script(if possible) we could help u in a better way.
Consider a case where ur database resides in the m/c and u log into that machine with appropriate Os userid but u need to make sure that particular userid must belong to ORA_DBA group or else if u try to conn as sysdba it will say insufficient privileges.
There is a file called SQLNET.ora in that check the parameter
If everything is fine then from sqlplus prompt give /as sysdba
it should get connected.
What i could make out from ur posting that the scripts for DB creation needs to be modified for sys connectivity.
Replace sys with sys as sysdba.
Remember one more thing sys user has the ultimate powers and there are many tasks which system user cannot do only sys user can do.