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Fort Wayne to host 2010 girls' basketball finals

Basketball replay allowed at Finals

July 01, 2009
Commissioner Blake Ress recently announced that the IHSAA has an agreement in principle approving Fort Wayne as the host site of the 2010 IHSAA Girls' Basketball State Finals.

That decision was among several state tournament measures recently voted upon during the IHSAA Executive Committee's final meeting of the 2008-09 school year.

The agreement is for one year and calls for the Allen County War Memorial Coliseum to host the 35th Annual IHSAA Girls' Basketball State Finals and its four state championship games on Saturday, March 6, 2010.

"The proposal submitted by the Fort Wayne business community to host our girls' basketball state finals in 2010 was simply too attractive to pass over," Ress said. "Even though this decision may create some additional travel for some schools, I think the reception they will receive in Fort Wayne will outweigh those issues. We are excited about hosting this event in Fort Wayne."

"As a community, we are delighted at the prospect of hosting the IHSAA girls' basketball state finals next March," Randy Brown, executive vice president and general manager of the Allen County War Memorial Coliseum, said. "Memorial Coliseum is an outstanding venue to host this great event, and I'm confident our community will fully embrace this opportunity to make it a great experience for the teams and fans of high school basketball."

In addition to Fort Wayne, the IHSAA received bids from Ball State University and Indiana University.

Neither Indianapolis venue used in recent years — Conseco Fieldhouse, which hosted the girls' state finals from 2001 to 2008, nor Lucas Oil Stadium, which hosted in 2009 — was available for use on next year's date.

A new format was passed for the softball state tournament beginning in 2009-10 that eliminates the Friday state semifinal games and replaces it with a semi-state round on the prior Saturday.

The start of sectionals next year (May 24 through 29) will remain the same in the new format, but a one-game regional on Tuesday (June 1) would be followed by a four-team semi-state on Saturday (June 5) and four state championship games one week later (June 12).

The previous format, including this year, allowed 64 sectional champions to ad-vance to four-team regionals on Saturday with those 16 winners moving to the Friday state semifinals followed by the four state championship games the next day.

The current contract with Indiana University in Bloomington as the host site of the annual girls and boys' track and field state finals was extended for another five years, through 2014. This is the second extension from the original agreement that approved Bloomington as the host in 2004 in commemoration of the tournament's 100th year.

The committee also approved the use of replay equipment for end-of-game decisions in the basketball state championship games. It allows replay for review of a shot attempt at the end of the fourth quarter or overtime session and only when the shot would affect the outcome of the game. This rule does not affect sectional, regional or semi-state games.

The rule, passed earlier this spring by the National Federation of State High School Associations, was not mandatory but was left to the discretion of state associations to adopt.

Due to several instances in recent years where a member school submits an entry for the state tournament but then unexpectedly withdraws after pairings have been determined, the executive committee has adopted a penalty of $200 and a one-year probationary period for the school in that particular sport. The penalty is intended to be a deterrent to schools from entering the state tournament if forfeiture appears to be a possibility and is not intended as a punitive measure.

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Barbara Shaw
Schuler Bauer
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