"This is about a unique sport unlike any other sport that they play at the high school level, and that is the sport of basketball," Delph said. "It's special. It's different than football. It's different than lacrosse, soccer and volleyball. It's part of our identity as a state."
Delph said the resolution could come in two forms.
One option would be a simple or concurrent resolution suggesting that state legislators consider the idea of a state sport. The other option would be a joint resolution to formally make basketball Indiana's official sport, which would require both the House and Senate to pass the resolution.
Indiana if the resolution passed would become the second state to have basketball as its state sport. Massachusetts — home to the Basketball Hall of Fame and the birthplace of the sport — made basketball its official state sport in 2006.
Ten state legislatures have established an official state sport. The only Midwest state to have an official sport is Minnesota, which made hockey its state sport in 2008.
This resolution for Delph would mark the second consecutive session that he has introduced legislation regarding basketball.
Delph during the 2012 session introduced a bill that among several other education reforms included the state moving from a multi-class to a single-class postseason structure for high school basketball.
Indiana since the 1997-98 school year has held multiple state tournaments for boys and girls basketball with schools being divided into four classes based on student enrollment. Before this change, all Indiana high schools competed in one state championship tournament in a single-class system.
Despite the basketball part of Delph's bill not reaching the Senate floor for a vote, the IHSAA agreed to a series of town hall meetings across the state to discuss the class basketball issue.
The IHSAA announced Friday that following all the town hall meetings that there was not enough compelling evidence to support the state returning to a single-class system.