7 schools file PIAA appeal contesting competitive-balance rule promotion

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Saturday, May 9, 2020 | 2:18 AM


Seven schools statewide, including three from the WPIAL, filed appeals this week with the PIAA, all hoping their basketball teams can avoid being promoted by the competitive-balance rule.

The deadline to file was noon Friday.

The Lincoln Park boys, Chartiers Valley girls and North Catholic girls were among 15 schools that the PIAA intends to force into a higher classification for the next two seasons unless they win an appeal. The competitive-balance rule targets basketball teams that had success in the state playoffs and added at least one transfer.

The Camp Hill Trinity boys, Bellwood Antis girls, Dunmore girls and Delone Catholic girls also filed appeals, PIAA executive director Bob Lombardi said.

The PIAA executive staff will review the submitted information and respond to schools early next week, Lombardi said.

If the executive committee denies an appeal, that school can appeal to the entire PIAA board of directors later this month.

Athletic directors at Chartiers Valley and North Catholic said this week that the PIAA numbers are incorrect, and their teams added no transfers in the past two years.

If so, they would not be forced to move up.

Not filing appeals were the Archbishop Wood boys, Imhotep Charter boys, Bonner-Prendergast boys, Math, Civics and Sciences Charter boys, Bishop Guilfoyle boys, Sankofa Freedom Academy boys, Archbishop Carroll girls and Bethlehem Catholic girls.

Of the 15 schools, six are from District 12, which includes Philadelphia Catholic League and public school teams.

Lincoln Park athletic director Mike Bariski wants the PIAA to ignore the rule entirely because the state basketball tournaments were canceled in response to the covid-19 pandemic. If the tournaments were allowed to continue, other teams would have reached the threshold for promotion, he said, making this year’s process unfair.

If forced to move up, Lincoln Park would join Class 4A, North Catholic 5A and Chartiers Valley 6A.

The competitive-balance rule was enacted by the PIAA board two years ago, in part to quiet calls from public school administrators demanding a separate postseason tournament for private schools. Next school year — 2020-21 — will be the first time teams are forced to move up.

The rule impacts only football and basketball.

The PIAA formula awards four success points to teams that participate in the state finals, three to semifinalists, two to quarterfinalists or one for first-round participants.

Points are counted over two seasons. The PIAA then examines the rosters of teams that collected six or more points to see whether they also added any transfers. Teams must have both six or more success points and at least one transfer to move up.

Chris Harlan is a Tribune-Review Staff Writer. You can contact Chris by email at charlan@tribweb.com or via Twitter .

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