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Do Hoosiers favor single class basketball?

Opponents of multi-class high school basketball in Indiana say the public is looking for a return to the traditional one-class system.

And they say the numbers back it up.

According to a news release from State Sen. Mike Delph's office, a majority of respondents involved in eight town hall meetings around the state have expressed their desire to return to the single class basketball format used by the IHSAA prior to 1998.

There has been a straw poll taken at each of the town hall meetings (the ninth one being tonight in Marion). The results say 63 percent want a return to single class and 37 percent of the attendees like the current four-class setup.

Also according to the release, a telephone poll of 500 Indiana adult citizens was conducted by Wilson Perkins Allen Opinion research of Washington on May 6 and 7.

The poll found that 52 percent favor single class, 31 percent oppose it and 17 percent are undecided. It also found 73 percent of Hoosiers believe the state's citizens should have a voice in the process through a future ballot initiative.

Of the respondents, 36 percent follow Indiana high school basketball closely and 85 percent believe basketball is "important to Indiana's identity."

"This shows the disconnect between the desire/demand and the current system," the release said.

Of the 500 polled, 65 percent of the respondents were older than 55. The poll survey was paid for by Indiana Family Action, a public policy advocacy non-profit associated with the Indiana Family Institute.

The poll had 18 questions that varied from specifics to the responder such as sex and age to opinion questions about class basketball.

Five percent of the respondents were from Allen County and 11 percent came from the Fort Wayne market.

Delph, a Republican from Carmel, has been working with IHSAA commissioner Bobby Cox on the town hall meetings to get public input on the issue.

Cox has said many times that the IHSAA will consider the public's opinion in making a decision whether to return to the traditional single-class system or remain with the multiple classes.

High School Sports Editor Greg Jones on prep sports.

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