FORT WAYNE – The good news is the tape is gone from the floor at the Hulman Center at Indiana State for the girls basketball state finals Saturday. The bad news it is being replaced by an extra 10 feet of court space.
The eight state finalist coaches discovered this fact during their visit to the arena in Terre Haute during the IHSAA’s administrative meeting Monday.
The floor at Indiana State is set up at the college length, 94 feet, with no way to shorten the actual court. Last year, tape was put down to indicate where the end lines and three-pointers would be.
It is the second straight year the state finals are being played at Indiana State, which plays host to a women’s college game the night before and wouldn’t be able to get the court ready in time.
We will be using a 94-foot court on Saturday, the normal college length since the Hulman Center floor is not adjustable, IHSAA sports information director Jason Wille said in an email. Last year we taped lines down to make it high school regulation, but found that it was too confusing to the players, officials and even the fans. The coaches were informed today at the meeting in Terre Haute, and the impression we received was that it was a favorable decision particularly from those that played there last year.
Wille also wrote the National Federation of High Schools’ rule book allows for 94-foot courts since many of the state’s host their state championships at college venues that don’t have adjustable floors.
So for this year’s four state title games, the floor will not have any tape but the players will have to play on the longer court.
The state finals coaches were unaware of the Indiana State situation until they asked about it during their visit to the Hulman Center.
Two of the teams that will be competing for a state title on the longer court will be South Side in Class 4A and Canterbury in Class A.
The coaches I talked with were rather disturbed of the rules being changed for the state championship game, Canterbury coach Wayne Kreiger said by cellphone after the meeting.
Kreiger insisted the NFHS rules are for 84 feet.
South Side and Canterbury will get the opportunity to practice on the longer court Friday.
We will work some things out to see what it looks like and be ready to make some adjustments that we need to, South Side coach Juanita Goodwell said by cellphone. Over the years, we have been in some college tournaments during the summertime, and we have had the opportunity to play on their courts. We have a taste of being able to do what you do with the full-court press in that kind of setting. When it is during a game in the summer that’s one thing, but when it is for a state championship you will need to do something else if you need to.