Prep Basketball

IBCA has plan that would alter Hoosier Hysteria

2013-09-23T18:00:00Z 2014-03-28T20:16:08Z IBCA has plan that would alter Hoosier HysteriaSteve Hanlon steve.hanlon@nwi.com, (219) 933-4198 nwitimes.com
September 23, 2013 6:00 pm  • 

Munster's Mike Hackett and Wheeler's Tom Johnson were there, but neither can talk about the Indiana Basketball Coaches Association's hybrid tournament plan that is being circulated among members right now.

Both Hackett and Johnson have been a part of the plan to inject some life back into Hoosier Hysteria. Low attendance, travel issues and inequities within number of teams in each sectional is pushing this move toward something better.

An attempt to take the best of the old single-class tournament and the current four-class format is what this is all about.

Tom Beach built a power at Class 2A Forest Park. From 2002-2007 his record was 113-17 with two state championships and one state runner-up trophy. He also coached at Shelbyville and is currently at Anderson University.

Beach is the IBCA spokesman for the hybrid tourney approach.

"We all know we need to help Indiana high school basketball move forward," Beach said. "We've had some serious issues recently that are hurting the game. We're trying to come up with the best idea that will help the tournament and the kids who play the game."

In 2012 only 22,820 fans attended the boys basketball state finals in Indianapolis, the lowest number in history. The total tournament number of 385,024 was the lowest since class hoops started in 1997-98.

Bowman Academy played Tipton in front of a meager 2,398 fans at Lafayette Jeff in 2012, the lowest semistate crowd in history.

The girls basketball state finals in Terre Haute only drew 8,475 fans that year.

In the spring of 2012 the IHSAA conducted Town Hall meetings around the state on the subject. Many wanted a single-class multi-class compromise.

"That's what we're trying to do with this," Beach said.

There were 18 members of this committee that came up with this idea and all groups of Indiana high school sports — big school, small, private and charter — were represented.

The tourney would be dropped down to three classes, with two divisions in each class. The sectional level would be separated by the division.

In Class 3A there would be 32 schools in the largest divisions, with the enrollment differential at 1,935 through 4,687. The smaller division would have 32 schools between 1,504 and 1,929.

In Class 2A the largest division would have 64 schools between 819 and 1,496 students. The smaller division would have 96 schools between 489 and 810.

In Class A there would be 96 schools between 282 and 485 in the largest division. In the smaller division there would be 85 schools between 59 and 281 students.

There are currently 64 sectionals. This plan would be have 80, with the four-team sectionals in the larger classes, which would make sectionals more local and give hosts the ability to have an NCAA-like Friday night-Saturday night format.

The divisions in each class would come together at the regional level.

The IBCA would also like to make the semistate as it used to be, with teams from Northwest Indiana playing at Mackey Arena at Purdue. Currently, after winning a regional schools, fans and teams must wait until Sunday when the IHSAA assigns teams to semistate sites.

"We think it was much better for the game when everyone knew where the semistate would be held and it didn't change year-to-year," Beach said.

Once this information is discussed at the local level, there will be a vote among IBCA membership. Some tweaking could be done. The final plan would go to the state's athletic directors.

Then, it would become a proposal that would go to the IHSAA.

Bowman coach Marvin Rea said he does not favor it.

"I don't like it at all," said Rea, who won the Class 2A state championship last March. "If we're going to have class sports then we need to have class sports. Divisions in each class make no sense to me."

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