It starts with a bang, sort of.
The Board had two basketball bracket proposals to consider, one a “traditional” bracket that essentially spread the district placers throughout the bracket and a “regional” proposal that groups qualifiers much more by geography. The latter was developed by staff in response to complaints about first-round travel, which sometimes was substantial.
The problem with the regional proposal is that several large districts, especially District 7, would replay its tournament in a quarterfinal bracket; the traditional format paired District 7 teams against qualifiers from other districts.
After a significant discussion, the Board voted 20-8 to retain traditional bracketing for the upcoming two-year cycle. That approved bracketing can be found here on pages 3 and 4 for girls and pages 7 and 8 for boys. One change in girls Class A: the 5-1 vs. 6-4 first round game will be 5-2 vs. 6-3 while the 5-2 vs. 7-3 first round game will now be 5-1 vs. 7-3.
Also, all play-in games for basketball have been eliminated starting with the 2012-2013 season.
Also, the Board voted 25-3 to expand the team wrestling brackets to have 20 qualifiers in each class. The original brackets for team wrestling qualified 16 teams in each class, a reduction from the last two years. The wrestling steering committee felt the 16-team bracket that left out the District 11-AAA runner-up weakened the tournament. Based on that argument, the steering committee felt the AA tournament should also be expanded to 20 teams.
Thus, District 11′s AAA runner-up will be included along with multiple qualifiers from Districts 1, 3 and 7 while Class AA will have additional qualifiers from Districts 4, 7, 9 and 10.
The approved team wrestling brackets for the next cycle can be found here on page 4.
In regional wrestling, the proposal to reduce the Southwest Region bracket from 14 to 12 was defeated handily. The Southwest Region will remain at 14 qualifiers
All 2012-2013 amd 2013-2014 pairings, brackets and qualifiers can be accessed here. All changes will be made and updated early next week.
The new assistant executive director is Pat Gebhart, a York County resident and PIAA basketball official. More details on Gebhart will be posted as PIAA makes them available.
Pat will start his position on Aug. 13.
Currently, PIAA is hearing a complaint between McDowell High School and District 10 over a letter McDowell sent to students of Northwest Academy in Erie who reside in the Millcreek Twp. School District (McDowell’s district) that said those students would be ineligible to participate in McDowell athletics. That is a violation of PIAA policy – students who attend schools that do not provide varsity sports are eligible to participate in athletics in their home public school district.
McDowell was censured by District 10 after a District 10 meeting on May 2, all while McDowell has been battling District 10 over its decision to force McDowell to participate in the District 10 football and lacrosse playoffs. The last few years, McDowell, which has always had difficulty getting a football schedule, had gained entry to a District 7 schedule with the provision that McDowell qualify and participate in the District 7 playoffs. That was approved by PIAA, but District 10 recently reversed that with a new policy.
McDowell has appealed that policy, but its hearing before PIAA has been postponed several times. I am attending the hearing with the hope that the football matter is addressed.
The football matter will not be addressed today; it will be heard at the PIAA’s BOD meeting on Oct. 4-5.