IHSAA Limits Attendance To Tournament Games, Responding To COVID-19

Mar 12, 2020

The Indiana High School Athletic Association has now postponed its boys basketball tournament, but said in a statement Friday it would move forward with the state girls gymnastics tournament.

The organization is making changes to comply with guidelines on coronavirus from federal health officials.

IHSAA Commissioner Bobby Cox announced the state girls gymnastics tournament will go on – limited to 250 people, including athletes and coaches. Because of the number of officials and coaches necessary for gymnastics, no spectators will be allowed to the state tournament. 

READ MORE: What Do You Need To Know About Coronavirus? We’ve Got Answers.

“Throughout the last 48 hours, things have changed. Things in our community have changed. And things around the state have changed, things around the country have changed. So we’re trying to stay up with that,” Cox says.

Originally, the association had intended on moving forward with boys basketball tournaments, with limited spectators. But Cox said in a video statement Friday, due to the number of schools that have canceled or moved to e-learning, it is impossible for the tournament to move forward as planned.

“The association will continue to evaluate the utility of continuing the boys basketball tournament at a later date,” Cox said.

He says the organization will refund anyone who already purchased tickets. And he acknowledged the substantial economic impact this will have.

“It’s not good. I wish I could tell you it was not a big impact, but. … I suspect this will cost the association about half a million dollars,” Cox says.

He says the move is not without precedent – the organization has suspended seasons in the past due to weather and energy crisis. He says the organization did not have to respond similarly to H1N1.  

With the announcement IHSAA joins collegiate and professional athletic groups in limiting spectators to events.

This story has been updated.

Contact Lauren at lchapman@wfyi.org or follow her on Twitter at @laurenechapman_.