Hoosier Hysteria continues this week as the boys’ basketball sectional tournament begins. It all leads to four state championship games which are scheduled for April 3 at Banker’s Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis.
In January, the Indiana High School Athletic Association announced the championship weekend would be delayed by one week to help with the scheduling of the NCAA men’s basketball tournament in Indianapolis.
During last weekend’s edition of Inside INdiana Business with Gerry Dick, Bill Benner discussed the schedule change with IHSAA Commissioner Paul Neidig.
“To make all this fit in Indiana with all the basketball games that we have coming up the next month that there was a little bit of give and take on everybody’s part,” said Neidig. “Our partners came to us and asked if we could make an adjustment in our boy’s basketball state championships. And we were more than willing to do that.”
By delaying the championship games from March 27 to April 3, the semi-state champions in all four classes will now have two weeks to prepare.
Meanwhile, the March Madness Final Four will also be played on April 3, but at Lucas Oil Stadium.
Neidig says it was not just basketball that had to adjust because of COVID-19, but all high school sports. Whether it was a shift in practice and game schedules, locations, or fan attendance, he credits IHSAA member schools for doing their part over the past 12 months.
“We knew we had a lot of work to do, but we knew he could get it done,” said Neidig. “It’s just a tribute to the people in our buildings, communities and families of the work that’s been done to get us to this point.”
Benner also asked Neidig about recently published reports of accusations of “bullying” and “unprofessionalism” of the IHSAA when dealing with student-athletes who seek to transfer from one school to the other.
“We process on an annual basis approximately 4,000 transfers a year. And less than 1% of those transfers end up in no eligibility and, that’s not something that we like, we hate that part of it,” said Neidig. “But the reality of it is we have to look at each transfer independently and we got to make sure everybody’s following the member rules that are established by our membership.”
The IHSAA says more than 160,000 Indiana high school students compete in 22 sports.