Chip Shots: Schmegegge

March 16, 2024 at 8:00 a.m.


This is one of those weekends where my focus on a single topic has been hard to execute. Therefore, I have multiple topics to freely discuss.
Some are sublime, and reasonable while others might be ridiculous, even – as the Yiddish call it – schmegegge.
March weather is supposed to come in like a lion and go out like a lamb. It looks like the opposite is happening as the weather remains warm though most of March, but deadly storms and tornados have hit Indiana and Ohio Thursday.
I’ve experienced enough area spring sports weather cycles leading me to believe March will go OUT like a lion, and April showers will bring… May showers.
With all this said, I render my preseason salute and well wishes to all high school and college athletic staffs in the Times-Union readership area. I hope, for your collective sake, my weather hunch is completely wrong.
Area high school gymnasiums are now quiet, but the Grace College men’s basketball squad is hosting its slice of the regional NAIA championship tournament in the Orthopedic Capital Center. NAIA basketball is fun to watch.
If you didn’t catch the two games played last night, grab a seat at the finals. Tonight’s tip-off is 5 p.m. Hosting these tournament rounds is something that arrives exceedingly rare in this area.
Among the best teams you get a blend of D3 caliber players and D1 and D2 players who transferred to NAIA programs for health, the rigors of upper division level travel, and other reasons. These athletes are incredibly talented, coachable, and most teams play with so much length and speed at this level it’s not even comparable to what we see at high school levels.
I’ve heard and read from many folks including sportswriters about how poorly the officiating has been at more than one section or regional venue.
Tiger fans had plenty to grouse about regarding offensive fouls called in the overtime period (leading to their eventual loss) while similar play action was not whistled for a charge in the earlier frames of the ballgame.
Basketball is one of those sports where officials will – within the span of the current game being played – adjust their parameters for whistling fouls. My uncle/godfather has a suggestion for this.
Instead of losing your best players from fouling out in late periods, stay consistent with your officiating parameters, and remove the limit of fouls a player can commit.
If a player with five or more fouls commits an additional foul, regardless of if the other team is in the free-throw shooting bonus, the player who was fouled should get two free throws.
This isn’t a panacea, but it might alleviate the inconsistency fans, media, and coaches are seeing on the court.
The IHSAA boys’ basketball state finals among IHSAA Classes 1A-4A will be played two weeks from today. I noticed seven of the 8 semistate qualifiers in Class 1A are parochial schools of varied faiths, so fans could see an all-voucher final for Class 1A.
A circumstance like this usually has people raising their arms exclaiming Indiana should have a separate tournament for private schools.
I disagree.
There aren’t enough private schools among all enrollment classes to even make things a small bit interesting.
I still strongly believe these small private schools – some with consistently mediocre (at best… I’m being kind here) programs – contaminate the enrollment structure of boys’ and girls’ basketball. It will be interesting to see how many 1A public schools are bumped to 2A even with the IHSAA proposed enrollment class structure reducing the number of teams assigned to Class 4A.
Ohio adjusts its enrollment not only for tournament success, but to increase a school’s enrollment in 50-student-count tranches by getting a list of your students – all students – and seeing how far their residence is from the school they attend.
This is how Ohio has moved small school teams in football and basketball loaded with big school talent to higher competition levels.
Nothing the IHSAA does, though, will change my mind about the ambivalence I feel on boys’ and girls’ basketball championship weekends.
While I’m excited to see these hardworking kids hoist championship hardware at the finals, and to see them play in Gainbridge Fieldhouse, the games are rarely interesting.
IHSAA basketball finals tend to be anticlimactic with a few… a few… exceptions.
The Northwood Panthers’ state title victory last year was one of those few exceptions. It was a very well-played game by both teams. Most of the time, in the body language alone, you can see one of the teams is that proverbial deer….
The semistate round, however, seems to offer better games than the finals offer. You can also see the semistate games without having to pay for them on your streaming device or TV Internet. I hope time is being spent to evaluate the viability of maintaining this pay-per-view format.
I digress.
This – the anticlimactic state finals - makes me wonder if Indiana should move to a final four format in the Circle City as it had in the mid-1990s and before in its single-class setup.
In the meantime, state finals are wonderful for the participants and their townsfolk. The experience will be a lasting memory only a comparable handful can cherish relative to the number of fans and players who begin their postseason journeys.
They are anticlimactic in the same way a good TV series can be, where the writers tie up all the loose ends in the penultimate episode instead of the final episode.
I’ll leave you now to determine what we’ve discussed has been sublime and what has been schmegegge.

This is one of those weekends where my focus on a single topic has been hard to execute. Therefore, I have multiple topics to freely discuss.
Some are sublime, and reasonable while others might be ridiculous, even – as the Yiddish call it – schmegegge.
March weather is supposed to come in like a lion and go out like a lamb. It looks like the opposite is happening as the weather remains warm though most of March, but deadly storms and tornados have hit Indiana and Ohio Thursday.
I’ve experienced enough area spring sports weather cycles leading me to believe March will go OUT like a lion, and April showers will bring… May showers.
With all this said, I render my preseason salute and well wishes to all high school and college athletic staffs in the Times-Union readership area. I hope, for your collective sake, my weather hunch is completely wrong.
Area high school gymnasiums are now quiet, but the Grace College men’s basketball squad is hosting its slice of the regional NAIA championship tournament in the Orthopedic Capital Center. NAIA basketball is fun to watch.
If you didn’t catch the two games played last night, grab a seat at the finals. Tonight’s tip-off is 5 p.m. Hosting these tournament rounds is something that arrives exceedingly rare in this area.
Among the best teams you get a blend of D3 caliber players and D1 and D2 players who transferred to NAIA programs for health, the rigors of upper division level travel, and other reasons. These athletes are incredibly talented, coachable, and most teams play with so much length and speed at this level it’s not even comparable to what we see at high school levels.
I’ve heard and read from many folks including sportswriters about how poorly the officiating has been at more than one section or regional venue.
Tiger fans had plenty to grouse about regarding offensive fouls called in the overtime period (leading to their eventual loss) while similar play action was not whistled for a charge in the earlier frames of the ballgame.
Basketball is one of those sports where officials will – within the span of the current game being played – adjust their parameters for whistling fouls. My uncle/godfather has a suggestion for this.
Instead of losing your best players from fouling out in late periods, stay consistent with your officiating parameters, and remove the limit of fouls a player can commit.
If a player with five or more fouls commits an additional foul, regardless of if the other team is in the free-throw shooting bonus, the player who was fouled should get two free throws.
This isn’t a panacea, but it might alleviate the inconsistency fans, media, and coaches are seeing on the court.
The IHSAA boys’ basketball state finals among IHSAA Classes 1A-4A will be played two weeks from today. I noticed seven of the 8 semistate qualifiers in Class 1A are parochial schools of varied faiths, so fans could see an all-voucher final for Class 1A.
A circumstance like this usually has people raising their arms exclaiming Indiana should have a separate tournament for private schools.
I disagree.
There aren’t enough private schools among all enrollment classes to even make things a small bit interesting.
I still strongly believe these small private schools – some with consistently mediocre (at best… I’m being kind here) programs – contaminate the enrollment structure of boys’ and girls’ basketball. It will be interesting to see how many 1A public schools are bumped to 2A even with the IHSAA proposed enrollment class structure reducing the number of teams assigned to Class 4A.
Ohio adjusts its enrollment not only for tournament success, but to increase a school’s enrollment in 50-student-count tranches by getting a list of your students – all students – and seeing how far their residence is from the school they attend.
This is how Ohio has moved small school teams in football and basketball loaded with big school talent to higher competition levels.
Nothing the IHSAA does, though, will change my mind about the ambivalence I feel on boys’ and girls’ basketball championship weekends.
While I’m excited to see these hardworking kids hoist championship hardware at the finals, and to see them play in Gainbridge Fieldhouse, the games are rarely interesting.
IHSAA basketball finals tend to be anticlimactic with a few… a few… exceptions.
The Northwood Panthers’ state title victory last year was one of those few exceptions. It was a very well-played game by both teams. Most of the time, in the body language alone, you can see one of the teams is that proverbial deer….
The semistate round, however, seems to offer better games than the finals offer. You can also see the semistate games without having to pay for them on your streaming device or TV Internet. I hope time is being spent to evaluate the viability of maintaining this pay-per-view format.
I digress.
This – the anticlimactic state finals - makes me wonder if Indiana should move to a final four format in the Circle City as it had in the mid-1990s and before in its single-class setup.
In the meantime, state finals are wonderful for the participants and their townsfolk. The experience will be a lasting memory only a comparable handful can cherish relative to the number of fans and players who begin their postseason journeys.
They are anticlimactic in the same way a good TV series can be, where the writers tie up all the loose ends in the penultimate episode instead of the final episode.
I’ll leave you now to determine what we’ve discussed has been sublime and what has been schmegegge.

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