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vikingnation

IHSAA tournament attendance figures

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These figures are from 1991-2008 and are directly from the sports information director of the IHSAA. As you can clearly see, attendance has gone down hundreds of thousands per year after multi-class and this all happened literally from the moment or year multi-class took effect. Some say, "kids have more to do now" but that doesn't explain going down 352k fans in one year........impossible.

Year Total Series

Attendance

2008 427,974

2007 456,960

2006 474,881

2005 497,266

2004 475,023

2003 474,088

2002 438,430

2001 457,010

2000 387,710

1999 429,140

1998 434,752(first year multi-class -352,728 fans in one year)

1997 786,024 (last season of single class)

1996 786,852

1995 812,859

1994 775,670

1993 839,545

1992 861,124

Now there may have been a very small percentage of fans dropping off during single class but this is literally a difference of hundreds of thousands of fans. The worst season in single class was 1994 775,670 and even if you take the BEST multi-class season that is a difference of 278,404 fans....oh my lanta. :o

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Interesting statistics vikingnation. Class basketball has certainly had an effect on attendance.

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I'm guessing your outrage is directly linked to the fact that Valpo hasn't won as much in the tournament lately.

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Interesting statistics vikingnation. Class basketball has certainly had an effect on attendance.

The IHSAA have made so many dumb changes since the start of class sports

it's not even funny. For those of us who played before class, I wish these kids

could have had the opportunity to win in the Hatchet House like we did, but Class

sports is all they know and they wouldn't understand. Not knocking the accomplishments

of today's teams, but class has ruined Indiana basketball!

Edited by LHS-1

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I'm guessing your outrage is directly linked to the fact that Valpo hasn't won as much in the tournament lately.

No "outrage" here just posting some FACTS. As far as Valpo is concerned, we're doing ok in class hoops we've won 5 sectional titles (4 in a row) and went to the Final Four in 2004. Besides, I had the opportunity of not only playing at Valparaiso but also one of the smallest schools in the state Washington Twp. my senior year so I have been a part of both worlds. I think you are just attempting to steer the attention off of the statistics because this has nothing to do at all with Valparaiso.

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High school basketball is for the young men that are competing. Not for us fans or for the money. Class basketball gives every school a chance at competing. Why have a school with 200 compete against a school with 4,900? I grew up in a small town in a different state and played basketball at a tiny school. Back then we had 3 classes and we were a member of class 1A and I will never forget the memories of competing in the state tournament. We made a great run to make it far in our class. We didn't stand a chance against the big 3A powerhouses. High school athletics are for the athletes... not the fans.

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I disagree with the notion that you don't stand a chance. Small schools proved over and over again that it is possible to make a deep run in a single class tournament. Loogootee went to the state finals in 1970, state runner-up in 1975 and made deep tournament runs to the semi-state in 1988 & 1990. Other small schools in our area can stake the same claims such as the Washington Catholic Cardinals who made deep tournament runs to the semi-state two years in a row in the early 1990's. I'm sure there are lots of schools in northern Indiana that have examples as well. The abovementioned teams would all still argue that if some breaks went their way they could have gotten even further if not won it all. Obviously, the 70 & 75 teams of LHS could say that, but ask W.C. if they didn't think they had the talent to get to state. If you can make it to the Sweet 16 in a single class system, then there is a good chance you could win it all. I'm not going to say that the accomplishments under the multi-class system should be diminished. They have to play under the set rules that is laid out before them, but to say you don't stand a chance against larger schools just isn't true. And this is coming from someone who went to a school who had amazing success in the single class system and has benefited from the class system as well.

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I disagree with the notion that you don't stand a chance. Small schools proved over and over again that it is possible to make a deep run in a single class tournament. Loogootee went to the state finals in 1970, state runner-up in 1975 and made deep tournament runs to the semi-state in 1988 & 1990. Other small schools in our area can stake the same claims such as the Washington Catholic Cardinals who made deep tournament runs to the semi-state two years in a row in the early 1990's. I'm sure there are lots of schools in northern Indiana that have examples as well. The abovementioned teams would all still argue that if some breaks went their way they could have gotten even further if not won it all. Obviously, the 70 & 75 teams of LHS could say that, but ask W.C. if they didn't think they had the talent to get to state. If you can make it to the Sweet 16 in a single class system, then there is a good chance you could win it all. I'm not going to say that the accomplishments under the multi-class system should be diminished. They have to play under the set rules that is laid out before them, but to say you don't stand a chance against larger schools just isn't true. And this is coming from someone who went to a school who had amazing success in the single class system and has benefited from the class system as well.

Acctually WC had one semi-state team in '91, they lost in regional in '93, but NEDubois made the semi-state in '77 and '84 and in '77 made final 8. Odon which is 1/3rd of North Daviess made it to Final 8 in 1959, losing by 2 in ot to New Albany to barely miss state finals. L&M made it to Final 8 in '85 and WRV made Final 8 in '93. Springs Valley made the Final 4 in 1958, also Loogootee had a Final 8 team in '71 one year after making Final 4 in 1970. Shanendoah was in Final 4 in '84 I believe. Argos in '79. Of all those including Milan who were Final 4 in '53, before becoming State Champs in '54, only Loogootee is only other small school to make it to State Championship game under single class in '75.

Edited by Lagote74

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The whole point of this is yes class basketball greatly effected "Hoosier Hysteria" as it once was. Besides the Indy 500, Indiana was greatly known for this phenomenon and that gem has been stolen. Some things are worth fighting for and should be sacred enough to not just throw away for the sake of some smaller schools wanting door prizes. This debate is over as far as I am concerned because this was supposed to be a 2 year trial period after which time the coaches and players were polled and were heavily in favor of returning to single class. If this tournament was and is for the players and or coaches they also were ignored...... players, coaches and fans have all spoken and the defense rests.

Edited by vikingnation

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Shanendoah was in Final 4 in '84 I believe.

Shenandoah defeated Howe in a double overtime thriller to reach the final four in 1981.

Edited by Howe Academy

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Acctually WC had one semi-state team in '91, they lost in regional in '93, but NEDubois made the semi-state in '77 and '84 and in '77 made final 8. Odon which is 1/3rd of North Daviess made it to Final 8 in 1959, losing by 2 in ot to New Albany to barely miss state finals. L&M made it to Final 8 in '85 and WRV made Final 8 in '93. Springs Valley made the Final 4 in 1958, also Loogootee had a Final 8 team in '71 one year after making Final 4 in 1970. Shanendoah was in Final 4 in '84 I believe. Argos in '79. Of all those including Milan who were Final 4 in '53, before becoming State Champs in '54, only Loogootee is only other small school to make it to State Championship game under single class in '75.

I think this helps explain the class vs. no class argument:

ALL-TIME SECTIONALS

1. Kokomo 69

2. Vincennes Lincoln 68

3. Lafayette Jeff 67

4. Marion 65

5. Richmond 62

6. New Castle 58

7. Connersville 57

8. Logansport 56

Muncie Central 56

10. Anderson 50

Lebanon 50

12. Valparaiso 49

13. Rushville 48

14. Frankfort 46

Franklin 46

New Albany 46

17. Seymour 44

18. Washington 43

19. Crawfordsville 40

Michigan City Elston 40

21. Peru 39

Shelbyville 39

23. Madison 38

24. Brazil 37

25. Bedford 36

Huntington 36

Warsaw 36

The schools bold and italicized are in the southern part of the state (as defined by current class alignments) and are also larger than 3A. There are twelve schools in the northern part of the state that are 4A. Also, many of the "southern" schools are close to the Indy metro area, whereas the larger schools in the north are more spread out. What does this mean? It means that if you were a small school in the north you most likely traveled to one of these larger schools and had to beat them on their home floor. As I understand it, you didn't have that happen as much in the south. I believe that you even have some 1A sectionals that were affected very little by class basketball. It is great that southern Indiana has such a rich tradition in small school basketball, but many schools here in the north did not have that opportunity. Look at Brazil (now part of Northview), they won 37 sectionals but only 4 regionals. Also, look at Peru, they have 39 sectionals, but won a regional only 3 times. Rochester (not on the list) has won 31 sectionals, but only 6 regionals. None of them have come since FDR was still president, when Rochester was large enough to host a regional. Compare that to Plymouth which has 33 sectionals and 12 regionals (all since 1970). What is the difference? Obviously coaching and talent play a part, but also the travel time to regional seems to have an effect on the numbers.

I guess you can blame the NCC for shifting attitudes toward class B-ball. 8 large schools that almost always hosted sectinals/regionals means 7-8 smaller schools had a tougher task to win.

I can say that having played on a team that won the first sectional in nearly 30 years was an unbelievable experience. Do I think it was diminished by class bball? NO! Did we play the toughest opponents? No, but we played who we were assigned and accomplished something not seen since the playing days of our parents...

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For comparison:

CLASS SECTIONALS

1. Lafayette Central Catholic 10

Tecumseh 10

3. Evansville Mater Dei 9

4. Harding 8

Pike 8

6. Blue River 7

Boone Grove 7

Covington 7

Lawrence North 7

Orleans 7

Plymouth 7

12. Andrean 6

Batesville 6

East Chicago Central 6

Fort Wayne Blackhawk 6

Loogootee 6

Morgan Twp. 6

Muncie Central 6

New Castle 6

Terre Haute North 6

Tri-Central 6

Winchester 6

23. Bellmont 5

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it would only make sense for attendance to go down.. if lafayette jeff with 5000 students loses its first game and lcc with 200 students wins its first game.. what school would have more fans? the bigger school.. so with the bigger school getting eliminated earlier in the tournament now, there are less fans attending the games.. hope this makes sense.. you did not have small schools in the past advancing very far in the tourney therefore the schools with lesser fans were done and the schools with more fans continued to advance..

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I'm old school and yes I was/am sad that we no longer have the best HS tournament in the land. I think that is part of the reason the IHSAA has an all-in football tournament........ to claim some uniqueness once again.

The facts are the facts, but there is no going back. It would take a majority of principals to vote to change it and the majority likes it the way it is. It is sad that they went overboard with 4 classes. I would have gone with 2 but 3 is certainly enough. 4 is watered down.

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This is absolutely stunning. I must say, I enjoy class basketball. Although it has it's major flaws. I feel that you should have to be at least a .500 team to make the playoffs. Maybe if there was a bracket of 64 teams for each class it would make things so much exciting and interesting. Think of College Ball, you get to fill out your brackets and it just adds to the excitement. High School Ball in Indiana would for sure benefit from this.

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High school basketball is for the young men that are competing. Not for us fans or for the money. Class basketball gives every school a chance at competing. Why have a school with 200 compete against a school with 4,900? I grew up in a small town in a different state and played basketball at a tiny school. Back then we had 3 classes and we were a member of class 1A and I will never forget the memories of competing in the state tournament. We made a great run to make it far in our class. We didn't stand a chance against the big 3A powerhouses. High school athletics are for the athletes... not the fans.
like i've said before 400 teams, 200 classes.everybody wins a trophy and we can have a huge party afterwards.we'll have cake, ice cream, and balloon animals for all the kids.

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This is absolutely stunning. I must say, I enjoy class basketball. Although it has it's major flaws. I feel that you should have to be at least a .500 team to make the playoffs. Maybe if there was a bracket of 64 teams for each class it would make things so much exciting and interesting. Think of College Ball, you get to fill out your brackets and it just adds to the excitement. High School Ball in Indiana would for sure benefit from this.

if you needed a 500 record don't you think all the 4a teams would want to schedule 1a teams? and all the 1a teams would never try and play a higher class team.. it would be a very boring season..

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This is absolutely stunning. I must say, I enjoy class basketball. Although it has it's major flaws. I feel that you should have to be at least a .500 team to make the playoffs. Maybe if there was a bracket of 64 teams for each class it would make things so much exciting and interesting. Think of College Ball, you get to fill out your brackets and it just adds to the excitement. High School Ball in Indiana would for sure benefit from this.

I would actually prefer a system that Kentucky has. Bring all the regional winners together in a single class tournament for state superiority. The smaller schools have a shot at being sectional/regional champs, while also proving themselves against the larger schools. If you take a 1A regional winner, chances are they would be competitive with at least a 3A regional winner. Based on the statistics from Harrell's site, 2A vs. 3A is the most competitive match-up with 3A winning just over 60% (.613) of the time. This means, we could very well exist with 3 classes. 2A beats a 1A school by a little more than 60% (.629) as well. Or, we could bring everyone together for 2 classes. The largest disparity happens in 4A. They beat 3A over 70% of the time, and 1A almost 80%. Obviously it will depend on the nature of the teams playing, i.e. average 4A vs. bad 1A....

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it would only make sense for attendance to go down.. if lafayette jeff with 5000 students loses its first game and lcc with 200 students wins its first game.. what school would have more fans? the bigger school.. so with the bigger school getting eliminated earlier in the tournament now, there are less fans attending the games.. hope this makes sense.. you did not have small schools in the past advancing very far in the tourney therefore the schools with lesser fans were done and the schools with more fans continued to advance..

I graduated long before class ball came along. Back in the "day" kids bought season passes to the secionals ........ and went most nights, even if their team wasn't in it. I remember many a championship night and seeing all teams from the secional very well represented, not just the two that that were playing. Todays kids just don't do that. If it doesn't directly affect them, they don't care. I can still see that Boonville gym at SRO every night.

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Zebraboiler's idea is right on, but unfortunately it will never happen. I love the idea of 64 sectionals broken down into 4 classes and then the 64 winners fight it out for the overall chance to win a state championship. Everybody's points are well taken, but coming from a school who had success in the single class system it isn't impossible. That's what makes all of the schools that have mentioned so special. I can't speak for the crowd support in Northern Indiana, but some of the games that I have been to that are considered rivalries just south of Indy had gyms that were only half to two-thirds full for their biggest game of the year. Although crowd size has affect LHS just as much as it has anyone else, we still have a packed house when we play Barr-Reeve & Washington, not to mention full crowds when we play Forest Park, North Daviess, and Jasper. Keep in mind this is a gym that holds 4500+ and is the 25th largest in the state. Like I said, I can't speak for the north, but in the south I will guarantee that Loogootee, Barr-Reeve, or North Daviess would bring more than 3 or 4 Evansville schools combined. To say that larger enrollment = more fans is not the case down here. It's embarrasing to watch highlights of E'ville basketball during the postseason on tv. Some of the 4A gyms down here don't hold more than 2000 people and they are still only half full for sectional/regional.

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Zebraboiler's idea is right on, but unfortunately it will never happen. I love the idea of 64 sectionals broken down into 4 classes and then the 64 winners fight it out for the overall chance to win a state championship. Everybody's points are well taken, but coming from a school who had success in the single class system it isn't impossible. That's what makes all of the schools that have mentioned so special. I can't speak for the crowd support in Northern Indiana, but some of the games that I have been to that are considered rivalries just south of Indy had gyms that were only half to two-thirds full for their biggest game of the year. Although crowd size has affect LHS just as much as it has anyone else, we still have a packed house when we play Barr-Reeve & Washington, not to mention full crowds when we play Forest Park, North Daviess, and Jasper. Keep in mind this is a gym that holds 4500+ and is the 25th largest in the state. Like I said, I can't speak for the north, but in the south I will guarantee that Loogootee, Barr-Reeve, or North Daviess would bring more than 3 or 4 Evansville schools combined. To say that larger enrollment = more fans is not the case down here. It's embarrasing to watch highlights of E'ville basketball during the postseason on tv. Some of the 4A gyms down here don't hold more than 2000 people and they are still only half full for sectional/regional.

Thanks. It's not actually my idea, its been mentioned here before.....anyway, in regards to crowd sizes, what brings Loogootee people together? I mean, you have a great tradition, but, the alternative is not there. People will go to LHS (or similar sized schools) games because the neighbor kid is on the team, or they have a nephew or something. With the larger schools what motivation does a casual fan have? If you are a young couple with young kids, do you go to the HS games to see kids you've never met, or stay at home or have a family night or something. If you are retired, do you attend a game to see someone else's grandkids, or do you stay at home and watch Wheel of Fortune? The demographics favor small school support. In a school of 1100+ it is hard to be involved in every activity and to support every team. Also, most larger schools are in an urban setting with other cultural or artistic options available. As a student I have considered making a trip to see some local teams play, if I had the time. But, I would classify myself as an above average fan....

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"If you are retired, do you attend a game to see someone else's grandkids, or do you stay at home and watch Wheel of Fortune?"

Now that's a funny line!!!

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like i've said before 400 teams, 200 classes.everybody wins a trophy and we can have a huge party afterwards.we'll have cake, ice cream, and balloon animals for all the kids.

Spoken like a true Marion Giants fan! :D

I would actually prefer a system that Kentucky has. Bring all the regional winners together in a single class tournament for state superiority. The smaller schools have a shot at being sectional/regional champs, while also proving themselves against the larger schools. If you take a 1A regional winner, chances are they would be competitive with at least a 3A regional winner. Based on the statistics from Harrell's site, 2A vs. 3A is the most competitive match-up with 3A winning just over 60% (.613) of the time. This means, we could very well exist with 3 classes. 2A beats a 1A school by a little more than 60% (.629) as well. Or, we could bring everyone together for 2 classes. The largest disparity happens in 4A. They beat 3A over 70% of the time, and 1A almost 80%. Obviously it will depend on the nature of the teams playing, i.e. average 4A vs. bad 1A....

We've talked about it here before. I'd go something like a) 64 sectionals as they are, ;) 16 regionals with A and 2A feeding into eight regionals and 3A and 4A feeding into eight regionals, c) four single-class semistates and d) one final four with semis and championship. It would have been a great compromise to start with in 1997-98 but would be very hard to sell now. I would venture to guess Indiana still draws more fans to its state tournament than any other state.

I graduated long before class ball came along. Back in the "day" kids bought season passes to the secionals ........ and went most nights, even if their team wasn't in it. I remember many a championship night and seeing all teams from the secional very well represented, not just the two that that were playing. Todays kids just don't do that. If it doesn't directly affect them, they don't care. I can still see that Boonville gym at SRO every night.

Ditto for us, even though we had to drive over to Huntington North to do it. What else were we going to do on a Friday/Saturday night? Now I can stay home and stream it live on the Internet.

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I think this helps explain the class vs. no class argument:

ALL-TIME SECTIONALS

1. Kokomo 69

I've witnessed my fair share of sectional 'home cookin' at Memorial Gym during the single class era.

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Maybe it (the tournament) would have withered away anyway, as some on here suggest, but having been a Loogootee (and basketball in general) fan for many years, I honestly believe the tournament is a shadow of it's former self. Say all you want but winning a 1A sectional is not the same as winning a single class sectional. Admittedly, in Loogootee's case, that usually meant just beating the Hatchets but the regionals, semistates etc were against many larger schools. People did not go to games to see their grandkids play, they went to support their school and town. The level of support was amazing...

I have a program from the 1991 state finals at the Hoosier Dome. It has pictures and an article describing the 1990 finals (Damon Bailey). The picture shows the Hoosier Dome jammed and the attendance as 41,046 (a national record). Somebody told me there were over 500 media people there including the BBC. The tournament was truly an American icon. They should have made a movie about it....Oh, wait a minute, they did. I doubt there will be any movies about the current tournament.

Having said all that (and being a bit nostalgic about it), I don't believe it can ever go back. People's values, priorities and perspective have changed. There are still some areas that are bucking that trend but the vast majority are apparently not. Too bad...!!!

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