By Mike Deak
INDIANAPOLIS – It’s been mumbled about for a few years, and the IHSAA finally put it into action.
The association announced it is instituting a new mercy rule where “At all levels of play and in the IHSAA state tournament (except for the state finals), a running clock will be initiated after the first half when one team has a lead of thirty-five (35) points or more. Once the running clock begins, regular timing procedures will not be used for the remainder of the game.
The game clock will run continuously except for the following situations when it will be stopped:
a. An official’s timeout for an injured participant. b. A charged (team) timeout occurs. c. Intermission between third and fourth quarter. d. Anytime a foul is called that will result in free throws. e. Anytime officials determine it is necessary for safety reasons.”
The ruling parallels what was instituted for football this season where the running clock is enlisted when a football team gains a 35-point advantage.
The state also released its settings for the girls and boys basketball state tournaments.
Traditional hosts remain for many of the sectionals around the state, such as Triton for the Class 1-A boys tourney and the venerable and historic North Side Gym for the Class 4-A boys tourney in Elkhart, which will once again welcome Warsaw into the fray. Wawasee will get the boys tourney for the Class 3-A No. 21 bracket, which includes Tippecanoe Valley and NorthWood. Southern Wells is the host for the Class 1-A tourney, which Lakeland Christian will play
On the girls side, Sectional 4 will be at The Palace at Penn, where Warsaw will play. NorthWood will host Sectional 20, where Wawasee and Tippecanoe Valley will join the fun, and Culver will see Triton in for the Sectional 50 games. In Sectional 53, LCA will visit Northfield.
Regional sites remain largely the same, with LaPorte in 4-A, Jimtown in 3-A, and Caston for Triton and Wes-Del for LCA in 1-A for the aforementioned girls basketball sectional tournament winners, and Michigan City in 4-A, New Castle in 3-A, Frankfort for LCA and Triton in 1-A. LaPorte and Logansport are the girls northern semi-state hosts and Lafayette Jeff and the venerable and historic North Side Gym in Elkhart are the northern boys hosts.
State will continue to be played at the home of the Pacers, now named Gainbridge Fieldhouse in Indianapolis.
One other note of interest on the minutes list was the Sportsmanship Report. Among the totaled reports from the IHSAA included exemplary reports filed, thus far this fall are 392 compared to 306 in the same period from last year, a 28 percent change. Unsporting reports are down 13 percent, from 1,904 last year to 1,654 this year. Fans and player ejections are up from last year, but just barely (10-9 fans) and (181-174 players), while coach (14) and administrator (0) ejections are down.