Major change to PIAA wrestling tournament qualification process put on hold

Wednesday, May 4, 2022 | 2:46 PM

A major change to the way the PIAA determines qualifiers for the state wrestling tournament has been put on hold.

At its April 5 meeting, the PIAA wrestling steering committee voted to move to a new system where each of the state’s five Class 3A regions would receive three automatic qualifiers and the five remaining spots in the 20-wrestler bracket would be allocated on the strength of the region using a formula.

The change could have given the WPIAL five qualifiers at each weight.

If no change had been made, the WPIAL was set to drop to three qualifiers instead of four because of enrollment changes.

After hearing feedback from the PIAA board of directors that it wasn’t in favor of the approved motions, the steering committee rescinded the changes at a meeting Wednesday, WPIAL wrestling committee chairman Frank Vulcano Jr. said.

Instead, the committee recommended using the status quo for two more years while potential changes are considered.

“A motion was unanimously passed by the steering committee to use the past two-year cycle to determine qualifiers and to continue looking into ways to determine qualifiers, including the possibility of going to four regions in Class 3A,” Vulcano said.

Qualifiers in 2022-23 would be six per weight class at the PIAA Class 2A Southwest Regional and four per weight class at the WPIAL championships (PIAA Class 3A Southwest Regional).

The committee also rescinded a proposal that would have changed the PIAA team tournament from two to four classes.

“A motion was also unanimously passed to look into expanding the team tournament and make a recommendation for the 2024-25 cycle,” Vulcano said. “Everything will be revisited and possible new options will be discussed. The April 5 proposal went against how the PIAA determined qualifiers.

“Hopefully, we’ll come up with more options the board will consider in the fall. I think the four classifications in the team tournament was rushed through, and we’ll have more time to explore options.”

Vulcano said that support the wrestling committee received from the PIAA executive staff is positive and feels changes in the future to better the championships could happen.

The new proposal will be voted on by the PIAA board of directors on May 18.

Paul Schofield is a TribLive reporter covering high school and college sports and local golf. He joined the Trib in 1995 after spending 15 years at the Daily Courier in Connellsville, where he served as sports editor for 14 years. He can be reached at

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