MSHSL announces changed basketball tournaments for 2014 and beyond
Wednesday, December 19, 2012 6:50 AM
Beginning in 2014 and for three years, the high school boys basketball tournament will be played one week before the girls basketball tournament, and the girls will play a Tuesday through Saturday schedule.
During those same years, the boys will play a familiar Wednesday through Saturday schedule.
In addition to the flip-flop of weeks, the use of Mariucci Arena for both tournaments will come into play.
In 2017 and 2018, the formats will revert to the traditional schedule of playing the girls tournament first and then the boys tournament.
The Minnesota State High School League (MSHSL) Board of Directors approved the modifications to the tournaments.
The modifications became necessary when the Target Center entered into an agreement to host a new collegiate hockey conference tournament.
Beginning in 2014, Target Center will host the Division I National Collegiate Hockey Conference tournament through 2018.
An additional complicating factor involved the availability of Williams Arena at the University of Minnesota, which has served as the host of 10 quarterfinal games on Wednesday and Thursday for both tournaments since the semi-finals and championship games have been played at Target Center.
The board accepted the favored staff recommendation of switching the order of the two basketball tournaments for three years (2014-16) and then reverting to the traditional girls first-boys second format for the following two years (2017-18).
The decision also allows eight teams from four classes to come to Minneapolis for the tournaments, the option preferred by both the board and coaches associations, over playing quarterfinal games at various Minnesota sites and then bringing only four teams in each class to Minneapolis for semifinals and championships.
From 2014 through 2016, the proposal accepted by the board will allow the boys to utilize both Williams Arena and Target Center Wednesday through Saturday.
The following week, the girls will primarily utilize Williams Arena and Mariucci Arena on the Minneapolis campus of the University of Minnesota. Target Center will be utilized for some quarterfinal games on Tuesday of that week.
For 2017 and 2018, the girls tournament will be played first, using the same venues and schedule. The boys tournament will be played Wednesday through Saturday the following week.
Contractual arrangements with the venues must still be worked out, and staff will need to complete the details of which classes will play when and where.
"This solution is not ideal, but it is the least complicated to implement and meets the preference of the board and the basketball coaches associations to maintain an eight-team Twin Cities tournament for all classes," explained associate director Kevin Merkle who oversees boys basketball.
Executive director Dave Stead explained, "The other option was to combine genders and play the tournaments over that same two-week period, but that would have still necessitated the requirement of using Tuesdays and Mariucci Arena."