PIAA needs to rethink playoff system

Posted on March 5, 2019 in Newspaper.

By Matt Smith

When the PIAA expanded its enrollment classifications from four to six in October 2015, there was a polarizing response.

Although proponents of the system cited growing competitive imbalance among “big” and “small” schools, detractors believed that adding two classes was completely unnecessary.

The argument remains to this day. There are too many teams competing to win too many titles.

A football team with a 3-7 record that sneaks into the tournament as the final seed has no business facing an undefeated team in the first round of the Class 5A playoffs. That doesn’t seem very competitively balanced, does it?

The record disparities are more glaring in other sports. Take girls basketball, for example. In this year’s District 1 Class 2A tournament, Sacred Heart Academy of Bryn Mawr, which had a very respectable 13-8 record in the regular season, won the the title by a score of 51-15. They were so far better than the competition. The rest of that tournament field consisted of Dock Mennonite (6-12), Delco Christian (2-20) and Bristol (1-18).

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