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Senator hopes to make basketball official state sport of Indiana

Northrop's Brenton Scott, left, and Bryson Scott, right, combine to double team Bishop Luers' James Blackmon Jr. last season at Bishop Luers. Indiana State Sen. Mike Delph (R-Carmel) is seeking to make basketball the official sport of Indiana. (News-Sentinel file photo)
Northrop's Brenton Scott, left, and Bryson Scott, right, combine to double team Bishop Luers' James Blackmon Jr. last season at Bishop Luers. Indiana State Sen. Mike Delph (R-Carmel) is seeking to make basketball the official sport of Indiana. (News-Sentinel file photo)
Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.The Associated Press

Delph: Basketball is special and serves as our identity

Monday, July 09, 2012 12:01 am
The state senator who advocated for high school basketball postseason reform this spring will now push for basketball to become the official sport of Indiana.Sen. Mike Delph (R-Carmel) said in a recent interview with The News-Sentinel that he intends to introduce a resolution in the upcoming 2013 session of the Indiana General Assembly for basketball to become the official state sport.

"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.

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