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High school AD's propose three-class basketball system

Thursday, November 6, 2008

By STEVE HERMAN

AP Sports Writer

INDIANAPOLIS -- An association of athletic directors will ask the Indiana High School Athletic Association on Friday to consolidate the four-class state basketball tournaments into three classes.

The Indiana Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Association, which surveyed its own members last summer, will present the proposal at a regularly scheduled meeting of the IHSAA executive committee. No immediate decision is expected.

"Probably one of three things could happen," said LaPorte athletic director Ed Gilliland, chairman of the AD group's class sports committee. "One is it just ends right there, we make a proposal and they're not interested. No. 2, they could decide to vote somewhere down the road just based on the information we gave them; or, No. 3, they could survey the principals.

"I guess those would be the three options, and I really wouldn't even venture to guess which one," he said Thursday.

Fifty-eight percent of the ADs who responded to the group's survey supported the reduction to three classes, primarily to eliminate bye games, create a better balance of sectional teams and cut travel expenses, Gilliland said.

"It's been 11 years now that we've had the four classes. Over the last seven, eight years or so that I've been involved in our athletic directors association, we kept hearing the same comments at our meetings, concerns with inequities in the sectionals,"

The IHSAA has conducted four-class state tournaments in basketball, baseball, softball and volleyball since 1997-98. Football is played in five classes and would not be affected by the three-class proposal.

Most of the support for the three-class proposal came from the athletic directors in the two largest classes, 3A and 4A. Only 39 percent of the ADs from Class A and 2A schools supported the proposal, but the group's board of directors voted 33-5 to present it to the IHSAA.

IHSAA commissioner Blake Ress said the executive committee will take no action at Friday's meeting.

"They'll just listen to the report and take the information," Ress said. "I suspect they're going to want me to do some polling of our own of the membership before they make a decision, which would mean it would probably take several months."



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