The Indiana High School Athletic Association executive committee Thursday approved a significant change to the high school boys and girls basketball tournaments.
By a 15-2 vote, the executive committee approved changing the regional round to a single game and the semistate round to a two-game format. That move essentially flip-flops a format that had been in place for 20 years.
IHSAA commissioner Paul Neidig said earlier this week that the move was made after a poll of the state’s athletic directors, boys and girls basketball coaches and principals showed 73.4% of the 781 respondents in favor of the move with all four groups at least 70% in favor
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“In our opinion, (the proposed format) will allow us to build excitement in the tournament,” Neidig said this week. “Sectional week can be a tough week on teams. A lot of times it’s three games in a week to win a sectional championship. This would allow you to come off that week and prepare for one game as you move into the regional and get kids healthy. With the new format you would double the number of regional champions from 16 to 32 and then you would have to bring your ‘A’ game the next weekend. Historically, the best weekend of the tournament has been when you’ve had to win to win twice. I think this will keep a focus on the tournament from a greater number of fans and will be a financially positive for those communities hosting the semistate when you have fans in your community all day long.”
Following the one-game regional, there will be a blind draw similar to the sectional draw where each of the four-team semistate fields is unveiled on IHSAAtv.org.
Changes to IHSAA travel limit
The IHSAA executive committee also modified the 300-mile travel limit. Member schools will now be allowed to compete against schools from farther away than 300 miles from the state border as long as the contest is played within the 300-mile limit and those out-of-state schools are a member of their state association. Indiana schools may also host out-of-state schools that are in good standing with their state association.
The executive committee fully approved full membership for Dugger Union, Evansville Christian and Purdue Polytechnic. Those three schools are eligible to participate in IHSAA tournaments beginning this fall.
A proposal to raise ticket prices in several sports, including football and basketball games from $6 to $7 was approved, along with raising pay for officials by $10 at all levels and bumping mileage rates for officials from 25 cents per mile to 50 cents.
Basketball tournament host sites will be approved by the executive committee in the fall.
Call Star reporter Kyle Neddenriep at (317) 444-6649.