Region 4 principals and basketball coaches have more to work on than X’s and O’s for the upcoming tournaments. They’re also looking at options on when and where to play the boys’ and girls’ Region 4 basketball tournaments.
The tournaments are generally at E.A. Diddle Arena, but a scheduling conflict with Western Kentucky University athletics has made the traditional schedule impossible.
The boys’ and girls’ tournaments are typically played over a nine-day span. First-round games are usually played Monday through Thursday, one semifinal round and final played on Friday and Saturday, and the other semifinal and final played on the following Monday and Tuesday.
The region tournaments are scheduled to begin Monday, Feb. 25, a week earlier than previous years. That has created the conflict with WKU hosting a women’s game Feb. 27, a men’s game Feb. 28, and women’s and men’s games March 2.
Region 4 tournament director Tim Schlosser sent an email Tuesday to all principals and coaches asking for input and hopes to have a plan in place within a week, he said.
“I think the schools like it there,” Schlosser said. “It’s just the calendar fell a week earlier this year, so we can’t do it like we’ve always done it. It doesn’t mean we can’t do it.”
Schlosser named several options. One is to not play at Diddle Arena. Another is to play the boys’ first rounds at Diddle Arena on Feb. 25 and Feb. 26, the semifinals March 1 and finals on Sunday afternoon, March 3.
The girls’ tournament first round would be Feb. 27 and Feb. 28 at an alternate site, with the semifinals and finals at Diddle Arena on March 4-5.
There’s some flexibility this year with the boys’ Sweet 16 going first, beginning March 6, and the girls’ Sweet 16 beginning March 13.
That could mean beginning the girls’ region tournament March 4 at Diddle Arena, Schlosser said, and concluding the tournament by March 9.
Associate Athletic Director Craig Biggs, who is in charge of facilities and administration, said WKU is doing everything possible to assist.
“It’s always important for us, anytime we can host a community event,” Biggs said. “It’s a benefit for us to get kids on campus. It benefits our fan base when we get these opportunities. We typically try to do everything we can to make those opportunities available.”
The facility’s first responsibility is to WKU men’s and women’s basketball, with their schedules determined by the Sun Belt Conference. Biggs said that generally WKU likes to keep the calendar open so it can host the Region 4 Tournament and the girls’ Sweet 16.
The Region 4 Tournament has become a staple event at Diddle Arena.
The last time the tournament was not held at Diddle Arena was in 2003, when Barren County High School hosted the boys’ tournament. The last time girls’ region tournament games weren’t played at Diddle Arena was in 2002, when the first round of the girls’ tournament was held at high school campus sites.
There was a scheduling conflict in 2009 when the WKU women’s team hosted a first-round game in the Sun Belt Conference Tournament. All four boys’ first-round games were played on a Saturday that year.