Why not make a clean proposal to reduce basketball tournament from four classes to three?

The Indiana High School Athletic Association sidestepped the proposal calling for a reduction of the current four-class boys’ and girls’ basketball tournaments to three classes, tabling it for further review.
The proposal is expected to be voted on again in October. It would create two divisions in each class – one division with the highest enrollment and another with the lowest – at the sectional level, resulting in 80 different sectionals. Those sectional winners would then come together in each class at the regional round.
The Executive Committee announced it is forming a joint task force consisting of IHSAA board members, staff members (Assistant Commissioner Phil Gardner and Sandra Walter), plus members of the Indiana Basketball Coaches Association and the IIAAA (athletic directors association) to study the proposal in more detail. The committee will meet over the next several months to decide its merit.
“I think as long as we’ve got the coaches’ association and the state athletic association – always having two groups working together is best possible way to do things,” said Harrison boys’ coach and athletic director Bryan Speer.
IHSAA Commissioner Bobby Cox said there is some interest in the proposal, but “It has a lot of moving parts with financial implications for our member schools. We decided creating a task force was a good course of action to further study the impact and its feasibility.”
If the proposal was to simply reduce the number of classes from four to three, that might be a good thing. But basically creating six classes within three because of enrollment is a sticky wicket indeed, as the Brits would say. Why not just make it a clean, simple proposal?
* The coaches association increased the length of quarters in junior varsity games from six to seven minutes. Quarters will remain six minutes for freshmen games.
* The executive committee also voted to allow schools to schedule two more games, starting in 2014-15. Schools will be allowed to schedule 22 games, or 20 games and a tournament.
* In addition, the executive committee voted to move the girls’ basketball season up one week, starting in 2015-16. The vote will allow the girls’ state finals to be held a week earlier than the boys’ basketball sectional finals, so the event can be held at Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis for the next five years.
Previously, the IHSAA announced a one-year deal to move the girls’ finals to Bankers Life for the 2014-15 season. But they needed to start the season a week earlier to avoid possible conflicts wih the women’s Big Ten Conference tourney.
* The National Federation of State High School Associations voted to allow players to move into the lane when the ball is released by the shooter, beginning in 2014-15. Before, players could not release into the lane until the ball touched the rim or the backboard.
“That’s the right thing to do,” Speer said. “The players with inside position should have the advantage. When you can’t move until the ball hits the rim, it’s a 50/50 situation.”
* The Indiana boys’ and girls’ golf state finals will move to Prairie View Golf Club in Carmel, starting with the girls’ state finals on Oct. 3-4, 2014, through the boys’ state finals in June 2019.
It has been held for 14 years at The Legends of Indiana Golf Course in Franklin.

–Gordon Engelhardt

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