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.

  4 Responses to “PIAA BOD meeting, Friday, July 27”

  1. So despite constant complaints, the PIAA board elects to do nothing to rectify the long football season and now the out of whack Basketball brackets. Even with new leadership, nothing appears to change.

  2. Football was already decided; it’s not like you can change the season at the start of training camp. And the problem with all the playoff brackets is the concentration of large schools in small pockets. Lombardi can’t fix that his first day on the job.

  3. Bob,

    As Jeff noted in his reply, the football calendar was decided back in December when the Board failed to approve a reduction from 16 weeks to 15 weeks. The reduction was favored by PIAA staff, about one-half of the PIAA districts and most of the non-district reps on the Board.

    But it needed 21 affirmative votes on the Board and received just 17. And that was the end of the matter. In fact, the feeling among the BOD is that 16 weeks will be around for at least two more two-year cycles.

    Possibly some of the changes among Board members will re-ignite this, but I’m pessimistic about it. Dr. Lombardi is powerless, as was Brad Cashman, to do anything about this matter other than draw up the brackets.

    As to basketball, the Board had two bracketing options and chose to stay with the traditional brackets, primarily because it wanted to avoid two teams from the same district playing in the opening round. On the other hand, that does occur in Class AAA and Class AAAA where the District 7 champ plays the 7-6 (in AAA) and the 7-4 (in AAAA) in the opening round.

    The PIAA did wisely rid itself of the play-in games, which for the most part was a wasted round, both in terms of qualification and expense, although Penn Wood, the No. 9 AAAA boys team out of District 1 in 2010-2011 reached the PIAA semifinals.

  4. The bottom line is that despite lots of complaints nothing has changed. The WPIAL still shows that it rules the roost and until the current outdated District setup is done away with and we move to a fairer regional setup, these issues will never go away.

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