HILLARY SMITH: Super Sunday packs in girls draw

2014-01-26T18:00:00Z 2014-01-26T20:33:40Z HILLARY SMITH: Super Sunday packs in girls drawHillary Smith Times Columnist nwitimes.com
January 26, 2014 6:00 pm  • 

They typical start time for the IHSAA girls basketball sectional draw is 6 p.m. or 5 p.m. Central Standard Time.

Next week, the girls draw will start at 3 p.m. Why? Because Super Bowl XLVIII begins at 5:30.

According to IHSAA Sports Information Director Jason Wille, this is only the second time since 1985 that the girls draw and the Super Bowl have landed on the same day. The last time was 2004.

In those last 10 years -- and even the last 29 years -- enough has changed in the business of television sponsorships to throw even more of a wrench into the IHSAA's plans.

In 2004, CBS hosted the Super Bowl (remember the wardrobe malfunction?). It was not hosting the IHSAA draws at the time.

The IHSAA's current contract is with FOX Sports, and FOX is the channel hosting Denver vs. Seattle in the Super Bowl.

That created the first problem.

"Besides clearing that time with Fox Sports Indiana and Fox Sports Midwest, we also had to make sure it fit into the programming schedule with WFNI ESPN 1070, which is our flagship station for our radio network here in Indy," Wille said in an email. "They have Super Bowl programming to air following our pairings show."

Hence a 3 p.m. start to the girls sectional draw this year.

That the draw and the Super Bowl fall at the same time is a coincidence of the calendar. The IHSAA calendar is set by the number of weeks in a year.

A late Thanksgiving means a late football state championship which means a later start to the fall sports -- this year, Aug. 5, whereas last season the fall sports began on July 30.

A later start to fall equals a later start to winter sports. In 2013, the girls draw occurred on Jan. 27, a full week earlier and avoided the Super Bowl entirely.

Wille also said that the IHSAA by-law about Sunday participation and activities doesn't apply in situations of a team gathering to watch the draw or watch the Super Bowl.

In 2010, the draw occurred on a Monday, eliminating the problem altogether.

In this instance, the Super Bowl/draw conundrum is solved only by time. Typically, the draw takes about an hour and half to broadcast, with breakdowns of sectionals, analysis of matchups and interviews by hosts.

That means, the draw will be done by about 4:30, leaving an hour for coaches, players and FOX Sports to prepare for the Super Bowl.

In all, the calendar is most to blame.

Feb. 7 will typically mark the latest a Super Bowl game can be played (always the first Sunday in the month). That's how the NFL sets its calendar.

By now, with the snow and cold adjusting schedules across the state, coaches and players realizing how their plans for Sunday could change are used to making last-minute, late adjustments.

This column solely represents the writer's opinion. Reach her at hillary.smith@nwi.com.

Copyright 2014 nwitimes.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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