WICHITA – The basics of Shocker Madness on Oct. 18 will remain the same – ring ceremony, basketball skills contests and scrimmages.
The big changes are in how fans will enter Charles Koch Arena for the event, which begins at 7 p.m. Doors open at 5:30 p.m. and Wichita State will use the event as a test for new security measures – metal detectors and a bag policy.
“We’re going to do kind of a trial run,” said Brad Pittman, associate athletic director. “If you’ve been to events at INTRUST Bank Arena, especially our events down there, it will be kind of the same process. Bring yourself, what you need and be prepared to get screened.”
Wichita State, as well as Kansas and Kansas State, will use metal detectors for events anticipated to draw crowds of 5,000 or more. At Wichita State that means using the portable metal detectors for men’s basketball games and, perhaps, other sports.
On July 1, Kansas concealed carry laws allowed people to carry guns at public universities. In April, The Kansas Board of Regents voted to allow Wichita State, Kansas and Kansas State to prohibit concealed carry of guns in stadiums and arenas during athletic events with 5,000 people or more.
For Shocker Madness, the main entrance and the east entrance to the arena will be used.
No backpacks are allowed, a continuation of previous policies. New this season is a size policy for bags. Bags bigger than 14 inches by 14 inches by six inches are not allowed. Diaper bags and medical bags are permitted.
All bags are subject to search.
“Our bag policy is going to (resemble) what INTRUST Bank Arena has,” Pittman said. “We’re trying to do that to create simplicity within the city. If you go to one venue and come to our venue, it’s the same thing.”
Wichita State will place boxes – similar to those used by airlines to size carry-on luggage – to measure the size of bags at entrances.
“As long as it fits within that, you’re allowed to bring it in,” Pittman said. “We’ll search it and we’ll run you through detectors.”
The Shockers play their first men’s home basketball game on Nov. 4 and Pittman advises fans to arrive earlier than in the past.
“The earlier the better,” he said. “A majority of our crowd usually arrives within 30 minutes of a game and it’s just going to physically be impossible to get that many people through.”
The schedule for Shocker Madness events is to be determined.
Fans will also notice other changes.
- Wichita State is a tobacco-free campus, as of July 1, which means no smoking areas outside the arena. At all events, Wichita State has a no re-entry policy.
- Wichita State moved the pep band to section 116 from 117 to comply with American Athletic Conference rules on the distance between the band and the visiting bench.
- American rules also state that lids for bottled drinks must be removed by the seller at the concession stand.
- Beer sales will end with 10 minutes remaining in men’s basketball games and at the start of the fourth quarter for women’s games.
Volleyball numbers – The NCAA released its first RPI report on Monday. As expected, Wichita State is in a good spot with attractive non-conference wins and no damaging defeats.
The Shockers (12-3) rank No. 23, tops in the American. They are 5-3 against schools in the top 100, highlighted by wins over No. 8 Creighton and No. 41 Marquette.
The losses are to No. 9 Oregon, No. 19 Iowa State and No. 28 Cal Poly.
The Shockers, as coach Chris Lamb feared, need those non-conference opponents to maintain their strong power ranking. The highest ranked American opponent is No. 77 SMU with No. 89 Central Florida and Tulane at No. 92.