The GHSA’s six-point plan to rescue basketball

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Basketball may be in big trouble.

Blame it on the weather.

The Georgia High School Association has taken drastic measures to ensure the most important thing — that the first round of the state playoffs will tip off on Feb. 26.

What’s the problem? It’s cold weather conditions, which have already caused a slew of postponed games on two separate occasions since early January. The forecast is calling for a strong possibility of more basketball delays this weekend.

What’s the GHSA solution? It’s a six-point plan:

  • While the GHSA postponed swimming and wrestling across the board, it has left it up to each school’s administration to decide on basketball. A decision by one school — for example, the visiting team — is binding for both schools.
  • Non-region games cancelled by the weather will not be made up. Some schools will feel that in the pocketbook by  losing rivalry games.
  • Region games that have no bearing on seedings for the region tournament will not be made up.
  • Region games that do affect seedings for the region tournament may be played on Monday of next week.
  • Region tournaments may be restructured under these emergency conditions, allowing teams to play twice in one day.
  • The completion date for region tournaments has been pushed back three days to Tuesday, Feb. 23.

“This weather is doing horrible things to basketball this season,” GHSA executive director Ralph Swearngin said.

Hopefully, the GHSA’s plan will work because people are getting nervous. The flow of the  basketball season has been interrupted thrice, and some teams may not handle it well. Playing two games in the same day at the region tournament may result in some upsets. And the longer the basketball season goes, the more it affects spring sport teams waiting on basketball players to fill its roster.

You would think basketball would be one of the few sports exempt from weather implications because it’s played indoors. Mother Nature, however, has been as disruptive as a high-pressure defense.

What are your thought’s on the GHSA’s basketball plan? Do you have a better one? Please post below.

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14 comments Add your comment

Ted Striker

February 12th, 2010
7:12 am

The GHSA had tough choices but this is the wrong decision. If conditions are predicted to be too bad for swimming and wrestling tournaments, basketball tournaments — for those traveling in/through the same areas — shouldn’t be held.

This decision effectively treats basketball schools in Rome, Georgia and Valdosta, Georgia (hypothetical) the same, although the weather obviously won’t be the same. The plan they have is a hodgepodge that treats schools differently based on subjective criteria, rather than the actual criteria which is the issue at hand: the weather.

One final point: If you’re a basketball power and your star player is nursing an ankle injury (but would be expected to be healed in a week), do you think you play a fairly evenly matched opponent now if you can wait a week?


February 12th, 2010
9:23 am

Well said Mr. Striker….agree 110%. It will not kill anyone or anything to wait another week till weather clears. You’re just hurting the KIDS.

Crazy Hoops

February 12th, 2010
10:21 am

Bill & Mr. Striker: Good points, but the bottom line is that tae semifinals and finals of the state are held in the Gwinnett Arena and Macon Centreplex and those venues may be booked after the days that they are scheduled to be played. The swimming is held at Westminster, so that pool probably isn’t booked. The wrestling sectionals are held at various high schools so they are flexible also. Basketball is different because the tournament is depending on outside venues.
As you probably know, one reason the first three rounds (and I hate it) are played at highest seeded high school is because there are not enough large arenas to host and the larger ones are not willing to host (UGA and Ga Tech). The GHSA is in a bind so they have to make tough decision that probably one please everyone.

Metro Coach

February 12th, 2010
10:42 am

Georgia needs to adopt the Alabama model for basketball, scheduling and tournament wise. 20 regular season games and 3 tournaments. Then for the state tournament, have 4 regional sites and one site for the Final Four. It works for Alabama, and that state has less lower level colleges, where they host the regional sites, than Georgia.

TO Metro Coach

February 12th, 2010
12:47 pm

Good idea Coach but it’s the Texas Model…Alabama adopted theirs from Texas. Texas has 32 districts of anywhere from 6-10 teams each, they play down to 4 regional tournaments with 4 teams each (played at selected college venues) and regional winners are part of a 4 team state tournament played in Austin. This is done for each classification A, AA, AAA, AAAA, and AAAAA boys and girls. Some private schools have their own playoffs. Win state championship in Texas and you’re the best of an estimated 250-300 schools in your classification. Win state in Alabama, you’re the best of maybe 50 schools in your classification; win state in Georgia and you’re the best of maybe 65 schools in your classification. AL and GA championships just doesn’t carry the same weight. A state with a really cool play-off system is Kentucky. Size doesn’t matter…no matter the size, all teams are in one play-off bracket. Small schools knock-off larger schools with regularity.


February 12th, 2010
1:06 pm

Dr. Swearngin,

I hoe that you are now open to moving back basketball. That you will consider helping spring sports by moving back the deadlines for region seedings. The OUTDOOR sports in spring are often hampered by rain and the last couple of seasons you have been too hardheaded to allow our kids to make up their games.

Metro Coach

February 12th, 2010
2:49 pm

TO Metro Coach- Thanks for the info, I wasn’t familiar with the Texas model. No doubt Texas has many more schools per classification than Alabama and Georgia, just based on geography and population. Sounds like some good basketball. I would rather have the AL(TX) model than the current GA model, or even the Kentucky model because of the talent differences between the classes. I agree that Kentucky’s could be called a real playoff, but I don’t think that would be quite as competitve in GA.

coach phil

February 12th, 2010
5:32 pm

Its gonna be hard on some teams if they have to play two games in one day. Even harder on coaching staffs prepairing for those games. The region tournaments in some cases will be like a AAU tourney…I hope that doesnt happen. Good for the fans and the gate…Bad for the teams and the coaches…Imagine play Milton at 11am..u manage to get by them..then at 7pm you gotta play Centennial…you figure out a way to get by them…and on the next day…you go waiting for you Wheeler…wow…

coach phil

February 12th, 2010
5:33 pm

dang cant spell today…i meant you got wheeler waiting for you…lol

[...] The state’s basketball season is in a complete mess. Here’s the GHSA’s six-point plan to make sure the playoffs tip off on schedule later thi… [...]

Ted Striker

February 13th, 2010
4:06 am

I like the idea of the Texas and Alabama models. Sensible and effective.


February 13th, 2010
8:48 pm

I have always been a big fan of the Kentucky model. Throw everyone in a pot and see who comes out on top


February 14th, 2010
7:51 am

I agree with Fin. I’ve always been a fan of the Kentucky or the old Indiana model. That would always been great to see A teams compete against 5A teams. Especially back when Dwight Howard was playing for SACA. Even AAA teams Columbia and South Atlanta, they always great with talent, those teams would give any 5A school a hard time.


February 15th, 2010
8:39 pm

if they threw everyone in a hat, had the region 1st and 2nd place finisher compete for state, then you wouldn’t have region 6AAAAA so top heavy. The transfers will go someplace else.