Ah, yes.  The online equivalent of a programming note.

I will be live blogging the PIAA Board of Directors straight outta the Nittany Lion Inn on Thursday night and Friday morning as well as providing updates (possibly a chat) from the PIAA Basketball Championships at the Bryce Jordan Center.

The BOD agenda isn’t terribly sexy, but there are – yet again – a couple of football items that appear on Thursday’s agenda.

Basically, the executive staff was tasked with drawing up brackets for a four-class, 15-week season that brought all of the district champions into the state bracket at the same time.  That’s a little different twist on some similar proposals from the past.  There have been plenty of 15-week proposals in recent years, but none those brought all district reps into the bracket at the same time. Suggested by District 10 chairman Wally Blucas, the new proposal, if enacted, will be informally known as Wally’s World.

The upshot of Wally’s World is that districts that currently have 16-team tournaments (Districts 1, 3 and 7) will have to slash a week or adjust regular-season schedules.  Fat chance.

The second proposal is, yes, the revival of six classifications in order to reduce the football calendar from 16 weeks to 15 weeks.

That six-classification thing is the Dracula of PIAA.  It gets killed, buried and ends up rising again like clockwork (“I vant to drink your 16th veek”) only to be viciously attacked by District 7.  I wouldn’t be surprised to see the WPIAL contingent on the Board enter the Assembly Room of the Nittany Lion Inn draped in garlic and toting .45s with silver bullets in their chest pockets.

It might take drastic measures, too; PIAA exec direc Brad Cashman is in favor of 15 weeks.  Given that, is it just a coincidence that the room PIAA uses for Board meetings at the NLI is in the basement and has no direct sunlight?  Or mirrors?

Wait … is that a wooden stake that WPIAL executive director Tim O’Malley is pulling out of his luggage?

Also, I should be able to post updated PIAA swimming records – that involved real work this year thanks to Hershey’s David Nolan – by the end of the veek, er, week.  And I really should get to the District 3 and PIAA wrestling records straightaway, although I’ll have to engage in my annual sumo wrestling match with the IRS first.

Just letting you know that RodFrisco.com, like Dracula and 15-week football, isn’t dead.

Let’s see … did I remember to pack my holy water?

  5 Responses to “Upcoming: PIAA BOD meeting, basketball, swimming and wrestling records … and Dracula”

  1. imo proposing new classifications to any sport this year should be a complete nonstarter. The state funding cuts are going to have significant impact on athletics, whether it be through school consolidation, pay to play for athletes, more cooping or outright programs being dropped.

  2. Rod:

    A 15-Week season and six classifications IS the best way to go for football. Smaller states have been operating with six classes for years. Someone needs to come up with a plan for the WPIAL that is at least as attractive as playing its four championship games on one day. Would there really be any problem holding three championship games one weekend and three more the next? How about four and two? Oops! I forgot! That would mean renting out Heinz Field TWICE. Other ideas, anyone? Remember, your plan would still need to feed the big six-figure salary the WPIAL “commissioner” will get in face of the huge budget cuts that the entire state must endure. Otherwise, it will be another case of the WPIAL tail wagging the PIAA dog — AGAIN.

    I think moving to six classes is a prestige issue as well: The WPIAL fears the fact that it will have a dramatic reduction in the number of teams that will fall in the upper two classes.

    Since the PIAA membership refused to realign its districts equitably years ago, Wally’s World will continue to be a joke and unfair to the PIAA’s largest districts. What does it matter WHEN district champions enter the state tournament, anyway? That plan REEKS so badly that I can smell it up here in Alaska! It’s the price smaller districts must pay for their right to spash around in their little ponds. I want to see bye weeks completely removed from the football district to state playoff system, as well. After the sometimes necessary first-round district byes, every school should be on equal footing with no breathers once the playoff season begins.

  3. Steve.

    It should be even easier than that for WPIAL. 2 games on Friday, 4 on Saturday. And that weekend is usually Thanksgiving Weekend. So the Big problem is that every other year Pitt plays WVU on that Friday. There is probably a way around that. How long does it actually take to convert a ffotball field from College to HS?

  4. RichB:

    I thought of six games on one weekend, too. I don’t think that the six champs from the WPIAL will be able to enter the state playoffs on the same weekend, though, and I don’t like the idea of any teams sitting around for a week before entering the state playoffs.

    Although I haven’t done the math, in all likelihood, the District VII champs in Class 6A and Class 5A might have to enter the state playoffs a week earlier than the champs in the four smaller classes. Remember, for a few years now, Class AA has been the largest class in terms of numbers in the WPIAL. The number of schools in District VII’s smaller classifications are a sure bet to outnumber the numbers it has in the biggest classes in a five- or six-classification system.

    Crowning champs in the bigger classes before crowning those in the smaller ones is certain to chafe traditionalists. As long as things are equitable across the state, however, I would ask, “SO WHAT?”

  5. I crunched the numbers Steve.

    589 schools. About 98 teams per class (whereever the boundary was a tie, I put all the schools in a lower class)

    I just counted up the number per district in each Class 1X thru 6X (since it is experimental I used X instead of A;-)

    For D7 I got 22-25 for 1X to 4X; 18 for 5X; 14 for 6X.

    Of Course D1 is high with 6X, 32.

    Really, the best way to do it is not have district championships at all. If a District has about 20 teams in a class it should have about 6 of the 32 teams in the playoff. But that is not happening soon either.

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