2010 Girls Basketball State Finals moves to Fort Wayne

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Press release from the IHSAA:

Fort Wayne chosen to host 2010 Girls Basketball State Finals
Softball Tourney altered, Track & Field Finals to continue in Bloomington

Commissioner Blake Ress announced today 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 that were 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,” said Ress. “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,” said Randy Brown, Executive Vice President and General Manager of the Allen County War Memorial Coliseum. “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 2001-2008, nor Lucas Oil Stadium, which hosted in 2009 — was available for use on next year’s date.

New Softball Tournament format
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 (May 24-29, 2010) will remain the same in the new format, but a one-game regional on Tuesday (June 1,2010) would be followed by a four-team semi-state on Saturday (June 5, 2010) and four state championship games one week later (June 12, 2010). The previous format, including this year, allowed 64 sectional champions to advance 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.

Track & Field Finals extension
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. Following that event, both parties agreed to an extension for five years through 2009.

Basketball instant replay approved
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.

New penalty for state tournament forfeitures
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.

IHSAA Student Leadership Conference Tuesday
The Indiana High School Athletic Association is sponsoring the Sixth Annual IHSAA Student Leadership Conference on Tuesday, June 23, at Pike High School in Indianapolis.

Up to 800 students in grades 10-12 from the IHSAA’s 410 member schools are expected to attend the conference which will include several speakers, both national and local, as well as over 30 different discussion sessions that the attendees may choose from. Three separate breakout sessions will be provided for student athletes throughout the day with a few of the topics including Leadership, Sportsmanship, College Preparation, Community Service, Athletic-Related Careers, Balancing Academics and Athletics, Conflict Resolution, Hazing and IHSAA Issues and Answers.

Students-athletes will have the opportunity to meet and interact with each other while also hearing from Harvey Alston and Stephen Bargatze, both highly-acclaimed motivational speakers that have been part of the conference in previous years.

In addition to the discussion sessions, students will be able to engage in a t-shirt exchange at the conference and assist the Indiana Sports Corporation in donating new or slightly used sports equipment to the “Geared for Health: Sports Equipment for Health” program which helps underserved youth in the state.

Sixth Annual IHSAA Student Leadership Conference
When: Tuesday, June 23, 2009; 9:30 am ET / 8:30 am CT
Where: Pike High School, 5401 W. 71st Street, Indianapolis, IN
Registration: Begins at 8:30 am ET/7:30 am CT
To learn more about this year’s conference, click here.

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