(1-28-22) Once again the blind draw for an Indiana High School Athletic Association (IHSAA) tournament brings out the fact it might be a good time for a change. Last Sunday the IHSAA held its girls basketball tournament draw.

The Commercial Review’s Sports Editor Dave Vantress, newly located to Portland from Janesville, Wisconsin, pointed out in a recent opinion piece ‘Blind Draw Needs To Go‘ –

This year’s sectional draw for the Class 3A Sectional 24, which includes Jay County, has the 19-3 Patriots facing 15-5 Hamilton Heights. They are ranked sixth and eighth in the state, respectively. The two best teams in the bracket meet in the first round.

And the teams that got the two byes in the bracket?

Delta at 3-16 and Yorktown at 5-16. (Jay County beat those teams by a combined 79 points.) Sectional 24 also includes 2-7 Muncie Burris and 11-9 New Castle.

That is just one of the issues from Sunday’s draw. So why does the IHSAA insist on keeping the blind draw and using ping pong balls to determine the match-ups? It must be that it is the association’s ‘sacred cow’.

From the IHSAA –

About the Draw
To conduct the random drawing for the girls basketball state tournament, the IHSAA places ping-pong balls representing each school in each sectional into a lottery-style air mix machine. A motorized fan in the bottom of the machine blows the balls around the inside of the transparent container and air then forces each ball up through a tube in random order.

For example, the first ball retrieved from the machine will be the visiting team in game one with the second ball representing the home team in game one. The third ball to come out is the visitor in game two and the fourth ball the home team in game two. That same method is followed through all 64 sectionals and 16 regionals.

It just doesn’t seem right that a ping pong ball is responsible in the crowning of a state champion.

Remember any team sport tournament held by the IHSAA uses the blind draw? Why? Couldn’t find an answer to that one any where.

Is it because its the way they have always done it. Seeding teams would take to much time to do and the process involved. Have to play everyone anyway if you are going to win a state title. To punish the successful teams, seeding the top teams would give them an advantage. Want to give the teams with a disappointing season something to remember.

So there always seems to be a lot of comments after every blind tournament draw that it is time to change the process? So why does nothing ever happen?

So does the IHSAA officials have the authority to make the change in the format, can member schools push a plan for a change…or is it more fun just to sit around and complain about it. Will it ever happen.