As postseason basketball approaches, the KSHSAA and Fort Hays State University mutually agreed to relocate this year’s Class 1A Division I state basketball tournament from FHSU to the Civic Center in Dodge City. The state tournament dates remain as scheduled March 9 to 12.
The Fort Hays State University women’s basketball team has positioned itself to potentially host an NCAA regional tournament March 10, 11, 12 and 14, which would conflict with the state high school tournament. By mutual agreement of FHSU and the KSHSAA, the state tournament will be hosted at the Dodge City Civic Center by the Dodge City Sports Commission.
“Whether or not Fort Hays State succeeds in winning the right to host an NCAA regional, the Class 1A Division I state tournament will remain in Dodge City this year,” said KSHSAA Executive Director Gary Musselman. “The logistics and lead time in staging a successful state tournament necessitate a decision which is in the best interest of Fort Hays State University and the member schools of the KSHSAA, be made now.”
Dr. Mirta M. Martin, FHSU President, said via a press release it was unfortunate the university would not be able to accommodate both tournaments, and the decision had to be made now.
“We greatly value our relationships with Kansas high schools and with the KSHSAA, and we look forward to hosting all types of high school events in the future, but obviously our first loyalty must be to our own student-athletes.”
Athletic Director Curtis Hammeke noted the long-standing relationship between FHSU and the Kansas State High School Activities Association and its staff members.
“We have worked diligently together over many years to accommodate various state events around FHSU events,” he said. “For the second straight year, however, the conflicts related to hosting the NCAA women’s basketball regional have created a set of challenges that we cannot resolve in the best interests of all involved. This decision allows us to support the outstanding accomplishments of our women’s basketball team once more, while not compromising the format of the (Class) 1A Division I high school state tournament.”
The Dodge City Sports Commission will be working to provide a positive experience for all participants.
The 2,500 seat capacity Civic Center is home to Dodge City Community College basketball and in past decades hosted the Class BB state high school tournaments and the annual Dodge City Tournament of Champions featuring high school basketball teams from across the state.
The Class 1A DII tournaments will also be in Dodge City played at the United Wireless Area.