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Local Sports

Boys’ state swim meet in new venue, state basketball tourney is shortened

BOONE — Iowa’s state boys’ swimming meet is returning to the campus of the University of Iowa for the 2017-18 season. The state boys’ basketball tournament will be a five-day event, Monday through Friday at Wells Fargo Arena in Des Moines.

The Iowa High School Athletic Association’s Board of Control approved administrative recommendations on Friday effecting the state swimming meet and boys’ state basketball tournament. The changes take effect this school year.

Neither of the changes will impact how teams and/or individuals qualify for the State Tournament. Both changes are supported by the advisory committees and coaches’ associations in their respective sports.

“The Marshalltown YMCA/YWCA and Marshalltown Community Schools were exceptional hosts and the Y provided a great venue for our state swimming championships,” IHSAA Executive Director Alan Beste said. “The move to The University of Iowa’s Campus Recreation and Wellness Center provides an opportunity for our championships to be held at a site where the NCAA Men’s Championships have been held and will be held again in the future.”

The 82nd Annual State Swimming Meet will be held Feb. 10 at the natatorium in the Campus Recreation and Wellness Center at the University of Iowa. The state of the art facility has hosted Big 10 and NCAA meets.

The 25-yard competition natatorium also has an adjacent 25-yard warm-up pool. Member school hosts for the meet will be Iowa City, West; Iowa City, City High and Linn-Mar, Marion.

The venue hosted the NCAA Championships in 2015 and will also host the event in 2021 and 2022.

From 2005-2017, Marshalltown hosted the state boys’ swim meet at the Marshalltown YMCA-YWCA. Prior the move to Marshalltown, the meet was contested the previous 19 years in the University of Iowa Field House Pool, which hosted 29 of the first 68 meets.

Ten different venues have been used in the past for the state championships.

Beste said the IHSAA’s goal in moving the state basketball tournament to a five-day event is to reduce conflicts with college basketball tournaments and spring breaks that many school districts are engaged. He said it wanted to provide schools, communities and fans a shorter tournament week experience.

“We believe we can create more of a championship environment by playing all championship games on the same day – Championship Friday,” Beste said. “Each day/evening of the tournament will be considered a single session ticket whereby all games on a given day will be included in the admission price.”

A five-day State Basketball Tournament is the first major move in the tournament since moving from three to four classes in 1985 and marks the first time the final day of the tournament is not scheduled on a Saturday.

There will be seven games on Monday and Tuesday of Tournament Week starting at 9:30 a.m. and six on the remaining three days, starting at 10:30 a.m. Consolation games, which have been played since 1929, will continue to be played under the new format, with the four championship games being played Friday afternoon and evening.

The order of the games will continue to be Class 1A – 4A. All days will be a one session ticket. The 2018 boys’ state basketball tournament schedule can be found on the IHSAA’s website.

Des Moines has hosted the state basketball tournament for the past 55 years and 61 of the last 63 years. 2018 marks the 107th year of a boys’ state basketball tournament and the 96th year under the administrative auspices of the IHSAA.

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