A majority of Hoosiers are in favor of returning to a single-class high school basketball postseason system, according to a recent survey.
Fifty-two percent of Hoosiers said they prefer a single-class state championship, according to a 500-person survey conducted during the weekend by the Wilson Perkins Allen Opinion research group.
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.
This survey result comes in the middle of a statewide town meeting series that the IHSAA organized to discuss the basketball state tournament.
Of the people interviewed for this latest poll, 31 percent were opposed to returning to a single-class championship, while 17 percent were undecided. In addition, almost 63 percent said they were more likely to support the elimination of the multiple-class system.
People polled were interviewed over the phone and 65 percent of respondents were less than 55 years old. The costs to conduct the poll were also paid by the Indiana Family Action.
This survey results are also consistent with the overall straw poll results so far from the IHSAA town hall meetings to discuss postseason basketball.
Straw polls from eight of the 11 town meetings already conducted have 63 percent in favor of a single-class basketball tournament with 37 percent favoring the current multiple-class format.
The push for the state to return to a single-class championship also was discussed during this year's session of the Indiana General Assembly.
Sen. Mike Delph (R-Carmel) introduced a bill that included the elimination of multiple-class state championships for basketball among several other education reforms. The basketball part of the bill, though, did not reach the Senate floor for a vote.
In addition, Sen. Jean Leising (R-Oldenburg) sponsored a bill during the 2011 session to end class basketball, but the bill did not receive a committee hearing during the 10-week session. Leising also told The News-Sentinel last month that she would consider introducing a bill in the upcoming session potentially calling for a statewide referendum vote on eliminating class basketball.
Of the people surveyed in the Wilson Perkins Allen Opinion poll, 73 percent support a statewide referendum vote.
The IHSAA will conduct its ninth town hall meeting to discuss the high school postseason basketball at 7 p.m. Thursday at Marion High School. The final two meetings will be Wednesday at Connersville High School and May 24 at Gary Roosevelt High School.