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IHSAA will continue tournament with limited attendance

IHSAA_logoINDIANAPOLIS – IHSAA Commissioner Bobby Cox announced in a press conference today that the boy’s state basketball tournament regional round will continue but with limited participation. Regarding the girl’s gymnastics state championships in Muncie, they will continue but with essential personnel only, no spectator admissions.

“Our primary focus has been and will continue to be the health and safety of our students and supporters attending our events,” said Cox at a press conference in Indianapolis on Thursday. “With the study of available information surrounding this pandemic, the IHSAA will conclude the boy’s basketball tournament series events as scheduled with only essential staff and immediate family in attendance.”
The IHSAA made the decision based on information from the Indiana State Department of Health and the Centers for Disease Control and while this is the plan for this week, those plans could change.
“In the last 48 hours things have changed and we are trying to stay up with that,” he said. “Right now that’s our plan. If we get through this week and we feel confident that we can move forward we will do the semi-state the same way. If we receive new information from the department of health we may need to determine to do something different.”
Cox acknowledged that it was a less than ideal situation both competitively for the athletes and financially for the IHSAA.
“It’s not good,” he said. “I wish I could tell you its not a big impact (financially) but I look back on our financial reporting for the last three years and I suspect this will cost the association about a half a million dollars.”
“Kids like to play in front of people and it is going to feel like a scrimmage,” said Cox. “I think it will affect play. I don’t think there is any doubt it will affect play, but at least they are getting to play right now.”
Cox outlined what would be considered “immediate family” in regards to who should receive the extra admissions for each school.
“Parents, grandparents, and siblings of players, student staffers, coaches, and administrators,” said Cox. “Members of the media will only be admitted with established media credentials. The IHSAA will provide a maximum of 75 admissions to each participating school exclusive of the 12 dressed players.”
The reason for the numbers involved is in keeping with guidelines from the CDC that “large gatherings” should be kept at a maximum of 250 people. It is what led to the decision not to allow spectators for the gymnastics state championship.
“We were trying to keep that number at 250,” said Cox. “Due to the large number of participants needed to ensure the safety and adjudicate the event, there will be no spectators. The event will be streamed on IHSAA.org.”
Cox said that tickets already purchased can be taken to the “point of purchase” for a refund. For the state gymnastics tournament, the IHSAA will handle all refunds.
“The association encourages social separation of fans throughout the facility, allowing those in attendance to spread out throughout the facility,” said Cox. “There will be no pregame or post-game handshakes between teams or officials.”
With some spring sports already beginning their regular-season Cox said that the IHSAA would not intervene at this time.
“The regular-season (spring) contests are totally up to the member schools whether they want to contest those or not,” he said.

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