Marquette Catholic boys basketball will remain in Class 2A after the state governing body approved a rule change Monday that the Blazers' coach finds "odd."
The IHSAA Executive Committee voted 18‐1 Monday to approve a modification to the tournament success factor rule, which moves teams to a higher class due to postseason success. Teams already in a higher class that win a regional championship in a single season or a sectional championship in consecutive years will remain in the higher class. The previous requirement was two sectional titles and a regional title in a two-year span to continue in the higher class.
The Blazers have won six straight sectional titles, including four in a row in Class 2A.
“The success factor seemed to have been working fine the way it was. The fact that it only affected one program in the state of Indiana seems like it was an odd thing to take up for a rule change,” Marquette Catholic coach Fred Mooney said. “With that said, we've been 2A these past several seasons and we are fine with that.”
IHSAA sports information director Jason Wille confirmed that Marquette Catholic is the only boys basketball program in Indiana to be immediately affected by the rule change.
"There’s no need for us to respond to (Mooney's) comments," Wille said in an email, "but the rationale behind the change to the Tournament Success Factor was that if a school is winning a sectional championship in consecutive years playing in a higher class, they are certainly demonstrating being competitive in that class and should continue at that level rather than dropping back down a class."
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Wille said Lafayette Central Catholic baseball, New Palestine football, Yorktown volleyball, Providence volleyball and Leo softball will be subject to the rule change, as well. Gibson Southern softball could be subject to the rule, depending upon how they finish this season.*
The Blazers also move to a new sectional with the realignment approved Monday. Sectional 33 includes Andrean, Bishop Noll, Bowman Academy, Lake Station, Roosevelt and Whiting.
“The way the realignment went down feels like a way to get us into a sectional with all of the other private/charters,” Mooney said. “I think sectionals should make sense geographically to the degree possible. However, you also want good teams to advance to regional day.”
Mooney said the schedule his team plays prepares it for a difficult postseason. Last year, the Blazers played Class 2A state champion Andrean, Class 3A runner-up Culver Academies and Ohio Division III champs Harvest Prep.
“In a perfect world you would be able to balance geography and also competition to create a really solid group of teams competing in regionals,” Mooney said. “There is no easy path to a trophy. Everybody works hard and plays hard in the tournament. It's a blind draw and we will give whoever we draw, our best shot.”
* Editor's note: This story has been corrected from an earlier version.