The IHSAA approved a measure Monday that would move the start of the girls basketball season up one week in the state calendar to avoid the postseason conflict with the boys basketball season.
The change in schedule begins for the 2015-16 season.
The proposal was made because the girls state finals fall on the same weekend as the boys sectional finals, creating a conflict for teams with success in both sports.
In 2010, the Merrillville boys played their sectional final against Valparaiso on a Monday because the girls played in the state title game against Ben Davis on the same day.
The change will not impact the end of the girls volleyball season, with an overlap at the start of the volleyball postseason and the beginning of the girls basketball practices.
"It's not fair to divide the media coverage and your fan base with the overlap," said Lowell athletic director Patti McCormack, a member of the IHSAA executive committee that voted Monday to make the change. "We've talked to coaches and schools and those affected the most are obvious. The feedback is that the smaller schools that share athletes will be impacted more than larger schools do. The reality is you still have an option of moving games if you don't have a team in place. Some scrimmages will be lost, but you can also scrimmage with players that you have. The end was more important than the means, and the goal is to showcase every sport."
Because the state finals will be played a week earlier, the change also avoids a conflict with the Big Ten women's basketball tournament, which has been held in Indianapolis since 2010. This means that the girls state finals can return more permanently to Indianapolis. The Big Ten moved the women's tournament to Chicago in 2015, so this season will be the first time the state finals will be in Indianapolis since 2009.
McCormack said that there's a secondary site at state fairgrounds that could host the girls basketball tournament in case a conflict arises with the Big Ten tourney again.
In addition, the IHSAA approved adding two more games to the basketball season, increasing the total allowed games from 20 to 22 effective beginning with the 2014-15 school year.