RECORDS & AWARDS
A NEW FORMAT IN BASKETBALL....AGAIN?
September 26, 2013Richmond High School
I, like many Indiana high school basketball fans, read with great interest, the article in Thursday’s Indianapolis Star regarding changes to the basketball tournament. The coaches will vote on a new system next month. Here are a couple of the proposals:
- Squeezing the tournament from four classes to three and creating two divisions within each class by enrollment. The two division in 3A would have 32 schools with an enrollment from 1,935 to 4,687 students. The lower division in 3A would have enrollment from 1,929-1,504. In 2A, the top division would have 64 teams and the lower division 96 teams. In Class A, the split would be 96 teams in the top division and 85 in the lower division.
- The divisions would stay separated through the sectional round, resulting in 80 sectional winners, and then come together at the regional round. Class 3A would have four four-team regionals, with 2A and A each with eight four-team regionals. Class 3A would have two games, while 2A and A would have two four-team sites.
Are you confused yet? The powers that be are concerned about the lack of fans going to see the once “great basketball” tournament. They have reason to be concerned, but I am not sure this is going to fix the issue. Remember some of the other changes they tried when it was apparent the fans were unhappy when the IHSAA scrapped the winner take all format? That didn’t work and I have a feeling this won’t work either. Let’s face it…the fans want the one class system back. They like the idea of the “giant killer” out there somewhere. That team that is good enough and with enough breaks falling their way, they could beat the big school for a state title. Even if the small school didn’t win the state championship, there is nothing that can take away the fact that those teams were given the chance to beat the best! Isn’t that what it’s all about, being the best you can be? Can you imagine if in the real world we broke everything down into different classes? Let’s say you went to a good four year college, were an excellent student, a good worker. But because you went to a smaller college, you were classified different than someone who went to a much bigger school? I would like to think I had every chance of succeeding against another applicant no matter where they went to school. In other words, when we get into the real world, you better be at your best if you plan on getting the job you want. The job market won’t be broken down into classes so you can have a better chance of getting a position. If you are qualified, everyone will be thrown into the hat and then it’s up to you to show why you deserve the job. Not everyone will get the job and not everyone should get trophies. Basketball in Indiana was unique, now it’s no different than anyone else.
I know that may not be the best way to look at high school basketball, but let’s face it, the fans aren’t coming back because they don’t like the multi-class system and haven’t since its inception in 1997-98. I believe the fans will look at the next changes and still won’t come back.