The Washington Times-Herald


January 13, 2012

Class basketball good for region

WASHINGTON — As the nation attempts to crawl out of a recession, and state governments are forced to re-evaluate every funding option, changes in education seem to be drawing the most attention.

However, with truly important issues preparing to be debated, in the best tradition of political grandstanding, Sen. Mike Delph, R-Carmel, has introduced a bill tying the IHSAA’s multi-class basketball tourney to education reform.

It has been roughly 15 years since the switch to the multi-class system, meaning one full generation now knows nothing except class sports, and a second is not far behind.

So why Delph decided this was worthy of legislative action is beyond comprehension. The debate long ago faded into the woodwork, as many communities all over the state truly got a taste of Hoosier Hysteria. The class system didn’t kill an interest in high school basketball — it has enhanced it.

Since March 2002, Washington has made four trips to the state finals, Barr-Reeve has made three, Loogootee’s boys and Washington Catholic’s girls made one each and North Daviess has knocked on the door twice at semistate. Each appearance has been special and each community has had an opportunity to take a swing at the pinata. Class basketball has been very good to the Daviess-Martin area.

I imagine, as Sen. Delph panders for votes in coffee shops and diners, there is no “old chestnut” that quite gets the back slapped quite as quickly as a call for a return to “the good ol’ days.”

But were they really that good?

Would the North Daviess players of the last few seasons say they would trade their Class A semistate appearances for the one regional appearance Plainville had well over 50 years ago in a non class system?

If you truly want to kill off Hoosier Hysteria, ask the people of Madison, Salem, Bunker Hill, Alfordsville, Garrett or Gas City if they were planning on attending a state final game between Hamilton Southeastern and North Central every year.

Did the rest of the state beat a path to the Carmel/North Central single class tennis final? How many people do you know who traveled to Carmel’s 54-0 5A football win over Penn? Judging by the Sagrin computer rankings, nine of the top 10 football schools were all 5A, meaning that if that model transferred to basketball, what do you think the state finals would look like?

Has anyone asked Sen. Delph which small school he thinks will compete with the 4,800-student Carmel Greyhounds?

If bigger means better, then the largest schools would probably out-draw our Class A schools — which they don’t.

People have a ton of entertainment options available to them today, changing the priority level of high school sports in most people’s lives. When smaller communities have teams that they can support all the way to Indianapolis, everyone is a winner — the schools and communities, the IHSAA and those who provide goods and services along the way.

About 15 years ago the IHSAA made a change that was not popular with everyone. Was it perfect? No, but in hindsight it seemed to work pretty well for us.

Text Only
  • The past is prologue When I left Bankers Life Fieldhouse on Saturday, I watched a lot Barr-Reeve leave depressed and disappointed. The Vikings had lost a heartbreaking Class A final and I think a lot of people were wondering how and why. I'm not sure if either question n

    April 1, 2014

  • A Viking team to remember All roads lead to where you stand. And today, the Barr-Reeve basketball team will find themselves at center court of the Class A State Finals. Whether they win or lose is now irrelevant, as their legacy has already been written. This team will be rem

    March 29, 2014

  • Those hard working worms When the word "worm" comes up in conversations, there is often a wide range of ideas as to what people think about worms. Someone may think of a worm as a creepy, crawly thing that wiggles around in the earth, that young boys used to tease young gir

    March 25, 2014

  • Long live the Big East It first started when I was a student at Indiana University in Bloomington and I didn't quite understand. Most of my friends and people I would meet while watching college basketball wondering how on earth I couldn't be a crazed Hoosier fan, despite

    March 22, 2014

  • Twigs give Leatherwood its name One of our lesser known Indiana shrubs also has a rather unusual name. This is the leatherwood. A usually short shrub, it only grows to a height of around six feet, leatherwood receives its name from the soft leather-like twigs that extend out from t

    March 18, 2014

  • 'Old-school' sharing found in different ways The concept of sharing has taken on a new meaning since I was supposed to have learned it many years ago. What we all know, or supposed to be taught, was to let others take part in your good fortunes. When we all learned about sharing, it was over ou

    March 15, 2014

  • How far was Hooterville from Walton's Mountain? I have always said that television is the one item that binds my generation together (the generation that still watches televison, talks on phone and asks people for directions instead of using one device for all three). And with that in mind, it ma

    March 8, 2014

  • Time to seed the state tournament

    The Indiana boys basketball state tournament got underway Tuesday night as the most exciting month in high school began. As the old saying goes, "In 49 other states, it's just basketball, but this is Indiana." With that in mind, the IHSAA needs to to take a long look at seeding the state tournament.

    March 7, 2014

  • The pen is mightier than the sibling GD (Grand Dad) came to town for a visit recently and before he left I heard him ask Ava if she would to write something for his newspaper back home. She said she would but I could tell by the look on her face that she didn't really want to. She was p

    March 6, 2014

  • Longing for the freshness of spring We won't forget the new words "Polar Vortex," for quite some time. Most of January and February we lived in near-hibernation. When we weren't shoveling our walks, de-icing our windshields or fixing our pipes, we were grocery shopping and preparing fo

    March 1, 2014

Featured Ads
AP Video
Clicker Ticker
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide