The Idaho High School Activities Association sponsors the state softball, track, tennis and golf tournaments every spring. And every spring, the same question comes up: Why doesn’t it sponsor the state baseball tournaments?
One, the coaches of each classification have run their own state tournament since at least the 1970s, and no one is clamoring for the IHSAA to step in, IHSAA Executive Director Ty Jones said last year.
And two, adding a boys state tournament without adding a girls tournament would hinder Idaho’s progress in meeting Title IX requirements.
“The kids that play baseball have the opportunity to play in a state tournament, and it’s an invitational,” Jones said a year ago. “It’s really not run that different from how we would set it up.”
The IHSAA still sanctions baseball as a sport. It just doesn’t sponsor its state tournament. The differences are mostly limited to paperwork. But the setup has led to some oddities.
For example, Treasure Valley Community College in Ontario, Ore., hosts Idaho’s 3A state baseball tournament. And the 4A state tournament left the Treasure Valley for the first time in its history last season, when the College of Southern Idaho in Twin Falls hosted.
An additional wrinkle was added this year with the addition of Idaho’s pitch count rule. Because the IHSAA does not sponsor the state tournament, it can’t force teams to follow the rule at state. But all five tournament managers confirmed they’ll use the new pitch count rule anyway.
The Idaho Statesman detailed the sanction vs. sponsored debate last year when the 4A tournament left the Valley. You can read the full story here.
And stay up to date with all of the state baseball and softball tournaments with our brackets here.