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  • 2024 State Finals Conundrum

    By Y2CJ41
    Published in 

    After the state finals our good friend Brandon Sisson of Floyd Central made a post about a potential conflict with the 2024 NBA All-Star game and our state finals. In 2021 the All-Star game was supposed to be held in Indianapolis, but they had a different date that did not conflict with the wrestling state finals. However, the 2024 game will indeed conflict with the wrestling state finals. The IHSAA along with the IHSWCA now has just under two years to figure out a plan for the state finals. On top of the wrestling state finals having a conflict, the boys basketball state finals in 2024 will have issues with Indianapolis hosting the first two rounds of the NCAA tournament.

     

    Before I go on with the options for 2024, a couple things to consider. The girl’s basketball state finals are slated for the week after wrestling. The IHSAA likely does not want two of their bigger state finals events on the same weekend. Even so this would push the girls out of Gainbridge Fieldhouse which would in turn likely cause a lot of negative press. Pushing the wrestling state finals to the week after our normal date would seem to be an option that would be the hardest to pull off. That would almost certainly require pushing the girl's basketball state finals to the next weekend and possibly start the boys tournament a week later. The chain reaction of that is enough to make administrators at the IHSAA and school level cringe.

     

    Here are the options that we have

     

    Keep the date, but change the venue.

    This will be a big obstacle as there are some venues big enough to host the event, but location is a huge factor. Venues such as the Memorial Coliseum in Fort Wayne and Ford Center in Evansville both can hold about 10,000 in a hockey arena setup. They are however in the furthest corners of the state which would not be well received by many people further away. Arenas such as Mackey Arena, Assembly Hall, Butler Fieldhouse, or Indiana State’s updated Hulman Center would likely be able to handle the crowds. Of course, that poses the availability issue along with hotels and restaurants capable of handling a two day event at the college locations.

     

    Move the date, but keep the venue

    With this option we have a few different scenarios that could play out

    1. Move the whole state series back a week.

    Pros: Keep our 4 week state series
    Cons: Possibly lose a week of the season

    Commentary: We have two options with this, the first is simply cutting a week off of the regular season and the second starting the season a week earlier. With both we have potential conflicts. If we start the regular season a week earlier we still have a lot of conflicts with football early in the season. Both of these options would create scheduling issues with conference tournaments and simply being able to fill schedules with one less week.

     

    2. Create a 3 week state series

    Pros: No scheduling issues
    Cons: Logistics with a new state series configuration

    Commentary: With this option we have a multitude of different options that might just be the most feasible. There have been murmurs for a while about a three week state series from those within the wrestling community. One of the biggest proponents include the referee associations that are finding it harder and harder to find enough referees for the state series. One factor to consider is the events being held at the Ford Center and Memorial Coliseum and the availability of having our semi-state a week earlier. With any of the plans there could be a chain reaction that goes all the way back to the first week of the state series.

     

    Here are the options that we could see

    1. 16-20 team sectionals
      The new super-super sectional that is basically a regional compacted into one weekend. With just over 300 schools it would mean we have an average of 18 schools in the new bigger sectionals. This would likely require a two-day event due to the possibility of some weight classes having over 16 entries. The logistics of a two-day event are big when you are talking about a state series event.
    2. Mid-week regional
      With regional being an 8 man bracket this is very logical to have it mid-week and get it done on a Wednesday. There would possibly be some travel issues, however schools are a little more forgiving for tournament series events.
    3. Create 5 sectionals with Top 3 advancing to each regional/semi-state
      This is the most radical change, but something to ponder. This would give us sectionals with no more than 16 teams thus being able to keep it at a one day event. The biggest drawback would be the absolute chaos at the new qualifying event super semi-state. There would be a random bye and then two #1’s would meet for a spot at state. The draws here could be absolutely brutal in some areas.

     

    One of the biggest questions that would arise after 2024 is, will the IHSAA continue with the modified system? We might need an emergency coaches vote at state to change something, much like this past year. 

     

    There are likely other options, but these are some that come to mind. Which one do you like? Do you have a better option that the IHSAA could explore?

     



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    41 minutes ago, Y2CJ41 said:

    Move the date, but keep the venue

    With this option we have a few different scenarios that could play out

    1. Move the whole state series back a week.

    Pros: Keep our 4 week state series
    Cons: Possibly lose a week of the season

    Commentary: We have two options with this, the first is simply cutting a week off of the regular season and the second starting the season a week earlier. With both we have potential conflicts. If we start the regular season a week earlier we still have a lot of conflicts with football early in the season. Both of these options would create scheduling issues with conference tournaments and simply being able to fill schedules with one less week.

     

    To me, this seems to be the best solution. This option keeps the State Finals where it should be while making the smallest amount of change to the tournament series. My preference would be to start the season a week earlier. Does it suck to not have the football guys, absolutely. But again, this seems to me the solution that makes the smallest impact to the state series and keeps the State Finals at Gainbridge Fieldhouse. 

     

    The other solutions, such as moving to a 3 part state series, are interesting but should be considered after this scheduling conflict is taken care of. Let's not try to solve too many things at once here. 

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    28 minutes ago, SnatchSingle11 said:

     

     

    To me, this seems to be the best solution. This option keeps the State Finals where it should be while making the smallest amount of change to the tournament series. My preference would be to start the season a week earlier. Does it suck to not have the football guys, absolutely. But again, this seems to me the solution that makes the smallest impact to the state series and keeps the State Finals at Gainbridge Fieldhouse. 

     

    The other solutions, such as moving to a 3 part state series, are interesting but should be considered after this scheduling conflict is taken care of. Let's not try to solve too many things at once here. 

    I definitely believe we should keep it at Gainbridge. While the other facilities would likely be able to hold the event, I just don't like the idea of moving it.

     

    Both options with moving the state series back a week and moving to a three week series have obstacles. Moving the state series back a week will create scheduling conflicts for the whole season. 

     

    I personally like the idea of a 3 week post season. Our 4 week schedule is too long and could definitely be better shorted. However, as stated the number of teams in the state make it difficult to have the "perfect" number at the new sectionals. The biggest issue I have personally with the 3 week tournament is my idea of allowing up to two wrestlers per weight(limit 14 total) would likely have to be put to side in order to get the three week postseason.

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    5 hours ago, Ahawkeye said:

    I like the idea if a midweek Regional. We used to do it for team state I think we could do it here too.

    Be interesting, I remember those team regional format you speak of!

    Had to make weight 3x in a week lol 

    Edited by FCFIGHTER170

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    I feel if we were to go to 3 weeks we need to plan it as if it could become a permanent thing because there's a chance ihsaa could like the format used and choose to keep it. That's said I like sectionals the way it is... 9 to 10 teams top 4 move... alot of small and or struggling programs rely a on the success of having regional and semi-state qualifiers... any expansion to sectional sizes is going to negatively affect smaller struggling teams. An idea would be with regionals being a short tournament would be to skip it an have 4 sectionals meet to make a regional round that functions like semi-state.  Yes that would mean there would be 8 regional/semi-state sites. I know in the past the idea of having more than 16 state qualifiers have been suggested. What if we do that and have the top 3 at regional/semi-state make state giving us 24 qualifiers.  Since they showed they're willing to run friday of state all day we could run the 1st round 2 vs 3s then the second round champions vs the winner of the first round... obviously wrestle back would be ideal but we need to assume that won't happen. To me this would be better than option 1 or 3. But maybe I'm on an island on my own... or we go with option C, class wrestling... No? Too soon in the thread? Ok ignore the last part.

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    I really like the Mid-week regional, it sounds the most easies way to  do this if its an option. 

     

    Other crazy ideas would be to do massive regionals! skip the sectionals and just dive into regionals with a 32 man bracket advancing state 1 week ahead. I don't know the exact math but this would give the top 8 seeds Bys in the first round at least. 

    I just think this would be sick to see and give more opportunity to those kids that are in powerhouse sectionals to advance. I think technically this would have to be a 2 day event due to the consuls, but I am no expert. 

     

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    6 hours ago, Wrestlingfan937 said:

    I really like the Mid-week regional, it sounds the most easies way to  do this if its an option. 

     

    Other crazy ideas would be to do massive regionals! skip the sectionals and just dive into regionals with a 32 man bracket advancing state 1 week ahead. I don't know the exact math but this would give the top 8 seeds Bys in the first round at least. 

    I just think this would be sick to see and give more opportunity to those kids that are in powerhouse sectionals to advance. I think technically this would have to be a 2 day event due to the consuls, but I am no expert. 

     

    What you're calling a massive regional is what he's calling super sectionals. Only 2 sectionals feed each regional currently: 16-20 teams. By either name, you're combining current sectional/regional weeks into one.

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    I like the idea of having a  2 day Super Sectional. This would be our typical regionals. Most teams in all the regionals  would or most likely would have wrestled each other at some point. So seeding would not be all that bad. Seeding would take place on Tuesday with a two rounds being Friday night and finish up on Saturday. You would be down to the top 8 on Saturday. 
    take the top 4 to Semi State like a normal year. 
     

    Maybe this could be a bargaining chip with the “suits” to be able to have wrestle backs at semi state or even get to 24 at state instead of 16. 

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    Option X:

     

    ALL wrestlers in the state meet at 1 location. Randomly draw wrestlers to the mat, just like WWE Royal Rumble.... last wrestler standing is the single class-one weight State Champion.... no holds barred!

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    59 minutes ago, casualwrestlingfan said:

    Grand Park Events Center an option?

    Unless they build some type of new stadium seating arrangement I’m not aware of then it shouldn’t be.  Their main indoor soccer field has a seating capacity of 2,500 and the rest of the complex is scattered small bleacher section seating or bring your own bag chairs.  

    Edited by MattM

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    43 minutes ago, MattM said:

    Unless they build some type of new stadium seating arrangement I’m not aware of then it shouldn’t be.  Their main indoor soccer field has a seating capacity of 2,500 and the rest of the complex is scattered small bleacher section seating or bring your own bag chairs.  

    Gotcha, I've never been but saw the Sq footage listed.

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    4 minutes ago, casualwrestlingfan said:

    Gotcha, I've never been but saw the Sq footage listed.

    Plenty of room for a multiple dual meet event(with movable bleacher seating)  or good off season event, but definitely not what we need to highlight the IHSAA state finals.  

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    49 minutes ago, MattM said:

    Plenty of room for a multiple dual meet event(with movable bleacher seating)  or good off season event, but definitely not what we need to highlight the IHSAA state finals.  

    Possible host of IHSWCA team state?

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    2 hours ago, Galagore said:

    My gut tells me the super sectional would be detrimental to struggling programs from small schools. 

     

    Elaborate on your gut feeling?

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    57 minutes ago, Antknee said:

     

    Elaborate on your gut feeling?

    I'm not galagore, but I'm guessing he's in part referring to the fact that 95% of 1A kids would have a one-weekend postseason. It's hard to get excited about a sport when no one on your team can get past sectional.

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    2 hours ago, maligned said:

    I'm not galagore, but I'm guessing he's in part referring to the fact that 95% of 1A kids would have a one-weekend postseason. It's hard to get excited about a sport when no one on your team can get past sectional.

    That’s pretty accurate. Additionally, it would be pretty intimidating opening postseason with a tournament that large. 

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    I'm worried that if we go with the super sectional idea the ihsaa would choose to do it with out wrestle offs to avoid running it 2 days. This would hurt the sport of wrestling in Indiana. I feel sectionals should stay as is and make changes to regionals and semi-state. The only change to state would be increasing state to 24 qualifiers if needed. As I said in my earlier post we need to recognize that the ihsaa will avoid wrestle backs if needed.

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    unpopular option, no semi state, just qualify top 2 out of each regional. 

    Terrible idea but it is on the table , this would make state a 32 man bracket and potential wrestle backs. 

    Dont hate me for this post, Im not a fan of this either, just trying to revive this thread.... Dont judge me haha but could you imagine this?! how rediculess this would be.... another option is qualify all 4 out of regional for state and make state 3 days like ohio if im not mistaken..... 

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    10 hours ago, Wrestlingfan937 said:

    unpopular option, no semi state, just qualify top 2 out of each regional. 

    Terrible idea but it is on the table , this would make state a 32 man bracket and potential wrestle backs. 

    Dont hate me for this post, Im not a fan of this either, just trying to revive this thread.... Dont judge me haha but could you imagine this?! how rediculess this would be.... another option is qualify all 4 out of regional for state and make state 3 days like ohio if im not mistaken..... 

    I purposed earlier that we go from sectionals to a regional/semi-state round and take the top 4 from 4 sectionals making 8 sites from there you take top 3 to make 24 or top 4 to make 32 state qualifiers. Once again I wouldn't expect ihsaa to go for wrestlebacks though.

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    What is a realistic timeline of when the IHSAA will start working on this issue and have their solution?

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    Move the entire finals to Prairie Heights HS:

     

    1. Limited Seating, as we will be utilizing 4 gyms on campus and possibly a 5th that would be off campus.  We could used up to 6 mats.

     

    2.  Unlimited parking on our 230 acre campus/school farm, possible shuttle with tractor or horse-drawn buggy

     

    3.  Concessions-fresh farm raised beef provided by our FFA along with fresh well water.

     

    4.  Accommodations- overnight stays by tent, RV, and/or Hotel De Caprino

     

    5.  Restrooms-indoor plumbing at PH along with port-a-johns at the baseball and softball diamonds within walking distance of the main gym.

     

    Win-win situation for all

     

     

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    1 hour ago, rookie78 said:

    5.  Restrooms-indoor plumbing at PH along with port-a-johns at the baseball and softball diamonds within walking distance of the main gym.

     

    When was indoor plumbing installed?

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