Steve’s Ramblings: How I feel the regional/sectional complexes can be fixed

by Steve Dunford 

I think the regional/sectional complexes are great, but it is broken.  Currently, there are some travel issues, putting it plain is obnoxious.

Here is some examples of recent trips off the top of my head.  On a school night in volleyball last year,  Thompsonville and Elverado went to Valmeyer for a regional semi-final game.  It is 100 miles from T’ville.  It is 75 from Elkville.

Benton and Herrin had to travel to Columbia to play a regional championship game a few years ago.

Steeleville has traveled to Crab Orchard the last two years to play in a regional.

The Class 3A regional was hosted at Salem a few years ago.  All the southern teams went here, and the northern part of the complex went to either Marion or Carbondale.

One year Sesser-Valier and Waltonville had to play a regional championship game at Crab Orchard.  Christopher was hosting a regional and they both had to drive through Christopher to get there

Here is my solution.  I had this thought the day the football playoff pairings were released.

It is a reward for 8-1 and 9-0 to host playoff games in the first round in football.  It was different this year, very few 7-2 teams hosted games.

The IHSA reimburses schools for 20% of the gate.  That is a buck a head.  They reimburse to pay for  the officials.  The host school have to pay the ticket takers, scoreboard operators, PA announcers.   and any other things that goes into hosting a game  Most schools break even or end up in the red.

I think the solution to improve the process is the higher seed plays at home.  You could still have the regional championship on Friday night, the winning team cutting down the nets, etc.

There could be increased revenue because there will be several teams across the state at home.  There could be decreased revenue if a championship game is held in a smaller gym.

No matter what the system, is there will be some that will complain, and it will not be perfect. .  There are still some calling for the comeback of two class basketball.

The regional-sectional complex is a much fairer, and balanced system.  There are several instances over the years in which there were a couple or three teams that were over or pushing the 20 win mark, where the next regional down the road, every team would be under .500.

There was always the line, “you have to play someone sometime.” however, I feel it is best to get your four best teams to the sectional if at all possible.

This is just a thought.  I would like you to share your opinion on the matter.



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