Education, From The Capitol To The Classroom

Should Indiana Play Single-Class Basketball? Bobby Plump Weighs In


The high school basketball team from tiny Milan famously beat much bigger teams to capture Indiana’s state championship in the days of single-class basketball. No school with fewer than 500 students won the tournament until the multiple-class system was instituted in 1997.

A Hoosier basketball legend says its time to return to high school basketball in Indiana to the glory days of a single-class system.

Bobby Plump hit the game-winning shot for the famed Milan High School boys basketball team, which beat much bigger schools to win the 1954 state championship. On Friday, he discussed single-class basketball in the state on WFIU‘s Noon Edition

“The people of Indiana have voted with their feet that they like the single-class tournament better.”
—Bobby Plump

In 1997, Indiana switched to a multi-class system where schools play teams of similar size. Plump told Noon Edition he congratulates all student-athletes who have won championship games, but attendance is down at the state tournament.

“The people of Indiana have voted with their feet that they like the single-class tournament better,” he said.

Plump joined Rex Kirts, a retired sportswriter for The Bloomington Herald-Times, and Curt Benge, varsity girls basketball coach at Plainfield High School on Noon Edition.

In a series of town hall meetings, Indiana High School Athletic Association Commissioner Bobby Cox and Rep. Mike Delph, R-Carmel, have been gauging interest in returning to a single-class system, which has been a perennial issue in Indiana politics.

Plump has been a staunch advocate of a return to the single-class system. He argued that the current multi-class system isn’t as exciting for fans and doesn’t provide the glory of the old tournament system.

“Unfortunately, the multi-class had molded into what is a community tournament because only those in that area unless it is a special team realize that they are state champions,” Plump said.

The IHSAA will hold four more public meetings to discuss single-class basketball, all at 7 p.m.:



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