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IHSAA officially cancels remainder of 2020 boys basketball tournament

By: MATTHEW B. MOWERY, March 19, 2020, 3:51 pm

It’s over now.

After holding out hope for nearly a week that they could still play the boys basketball tournament, the Indiana High School Athletic Association pulled the plug on the possibility, officially cancelling the rest of the tourney.

Made to comply with Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb’s directive that schools remain closed until May 1 to help combat the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic, the decision came Thursday afternoon.

“It is with great sadness and disappointment that we inform Hoosiers of the cancellation of the remaining games of the 2020 IHSAA boys basketball tournament series,” IHSAA Commissioner Bobby Cox said in a news release. “While the Association maintained every hope of continuance, it is now evident those hopes are now unreachable. Albeit there will not be regional, semi-state and state champions crowned across our four classifications, the heath and safety of our public remains paramount and our primary focus.”

After originally deciding that the tournaments would go on with limited spectators on Thursday, the IHSAA changed course last Friday, and put the tournament on hold, while going ahead with the gymnastics finals.

The IHSAA held off on any updates on the status of spring sports until a later date in its release, but sent a directive to member schools stating that it still intends to hold an abbreviated spring season, should schools resume on May 1.

Until then, all spring sports athletes — for track and field, boys golf, girls tennis, baseball and softball — revert to the offseason rules under IHSAA by-law 15-2. That stipulates that “parents and students (are allowed) to make an independent determination to seek activity that is ‘non-school sponsored’ while schools are out of session.” In other words, athletes can participate in games and practices with non-school affiliated teams. 

The IHSAA also modified its 10-practice rule to five in the event of a May 1 resumption.