PIAA needs to change its playoff model, at least in basketball and football

Posted on May 7, 2018 in Newspaper.


By Rick O’Brien

The Western Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic League recently sent an online survey to its member schools to find out their opinion regarding the current PIAA playoff format.

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette listed the six questions in the survey. The No. 1 – and most pressing – question: Do you believe schools without geographical boundaries have a competitive advantage over schools with established geographical boundaries?

According to the Post-Gazette, 86 percent of the 108 schools (there are 138 WPIAL schools) that responded to the survey “said they would favor separate tournaments for boundary and non-boundary schools.”

The results of the survey might be discussed at the PIAA board of directors meeting later this month, but executive director Robert Lombardi has countless times said the PIAA cannot separate playoff competition between public and private schools on its own.

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