Sports

IHSAA changes format of boys and girls basketball state tournaments

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Changes are coming to Indiana’s annual boys and girls basketball state tournaments.

The executive board of the Indiana High School Athletic Association voted to make the regional round a single game and the semi-state round a two-game format starting in 2023.

The most recent format, which includes a two-round regional and single semi-state game, was put in place in 2002.

Regional pairings will be drawn and announced at the same time as the traditional sectional pairings, with two regional championship games being played at the same site and potentially from different classes, according to the IHSAA.

An additional blind draw will be conducted after regionals and semi-state pairings will be announced the day after the regional championship games, the IHSAA says.

IHSAA Commissioner Paul Neidig says the new format creates the potential for a high-energy atmosphere at the semi-state level.

“This new format will double the number of teams who play a week longer in the tournament and should create a lot of excitement in those communities and will be financially beneficial for those communities that serve as host sites.”

The IHSAA says the change was prompted by Neidig’s spring survey of principals, athletic directors, and boys and girls coaches. Just over 73% of the 781 respondents were in favor of the change, according to the IHSAA, with at least 70% in all four groups approving.

The executive board also approved a proposal to raise ticket prices in several sports, including football and basketball sectional games, from $6 to $7.