INDIANAPOLIS — The Indiana high school boys basketball postseason tournament will go on as scheduled, but because of the coronavirus, attendance will be limited.
In a press conference Thursday afternoon, IHSAA Commissioner Bobby Cox announced that only “essential staff and family members” will be allowed to be in the stands.
“Immediate family should be defined as ‘parents, grandparents and siblings of players, student-staffers, coaches and administrators,” Cox said. “Our primary focus has been, and will continue to be, the health and safety of our students and supporters attending our events.”
Each participating school will be limited to just 75 fans, who will have to be screened before entering the gym.
“We can’t expect our host sites to know these 75 individuals that are going to come,” Cox said. “Our principals and athletic directors will know their folks, and so we’re going to ask our principals and athletic directors and school administrators to be at the event.”
The IHSAA says all other fans that had already purchased tickets to this Saturday’s regional games or the state championship on March 28 will be refunded.
Cox says the decision was necessary, but understands the atmosphere will be weird for the players.
“Kids like playing in front of people,” he said. “I think it will impact the game. It’ll feel like a scrimmage. You’re going to have three officials out there, and two teams sitting on the benches, but there aren’t going to be very many people in the gym.”
The IHSAA will do all they can to make sure every game is streamed online and available for fans that will not be able to attend in person.
Cox also announced that the IHSAA Gymnastics state finals at Ball State University this Saturday will also go on as scheduled, but there will be zero fans allowed to attend. He cites the CDC’s recommendation of large gatherings having no more than 250 people.
“Once you count the participants, the coaches, the judges and scorers, we’re already at our limit of 250,” he said.