Although this is unfortunately not an announcement confirming the birth of a new invitational, I'm curious to know how many teams would be possibly interested in an invitational at Purdue University in West Lafayette, IN, likely to be hosted around mid-November.
So here's my story and motive for wanting to potentially start this if there's enough interest:
I came from Carmel HS, which is located just north of Indianapolis, which is close to the geographical center of the state. The main Indiana invitationals we go to (and that many other Indiana teams also go to) consist of Whiting and Northridge. The bus ride to them is always fun, but they are also somewhat long: 3-3.5 hrs to Whiting, which is near Chicago, 2.5-3 to Northridge, which is near South Bend - ironically, our closest invitational distance-wise is Wright State, only a 2 hr drive despite being in another state. That amount of travel time may not seem like a big deal to some teams with the new development of the long-distance invitational traveling, but that doesn't go to say that it isn't a big deal for the majority of teams. Take the Bloomingtons - they live 1-1.5 hrs southwest of Carmel, so take the amount of time our bus rides take and tack on an extra hour or hour and a half for them to get there, and to think that we're leaving our school grounds around 4am every time to ensure that we get to our invitationals on time. And there are also teams from schools much, much farther south than the Bloomingtons as well! While there are teams that are willing to travel that much and definitely much more for invitationals, bear in mind that not every team can, and it would be beneficial to them if there was an opportunity for them that would be much closer to them. In fact, Carmel has even gotten some
pressure to host an invitational for this reason: so that teams in central and southern Indiana won't have to travel so far to attend invites and so that those slots for teams can instead go to other northern Indiana schools. It would definitely help get teams more involved since it'd open up another competition opportunity that's not so far away. Although Purdue isn't as centrally located as Carmel is, it's not that far off (only an hour northwest of Indianapolis). And if there's adequate interest, then I'll see if I can help make it happen. Teams from other states would certainly be welcome too if they are interested!
I will be gauging interest with this form! Please fill it out if you would be interested in such an opportunity: https://goo.gl/forms/93ge0xiQ2BXp52T72