PIAA tightens competitive balance formula for football, basketball transfers

Friday, October 4, 2019 | 2:03 PM

Adding one transfer could force a basketball team into a higher PIAA classification.

The PIAA board this week voted to tighten its competitive balance formula by reducing the number of transfers required to trigger an increase in classification. The threshold in football was reduced from five transfers to three, and basketball was reduced from two transfers to one.

“It’s a big move,” PIAA executive director Bob Lombardi said.

The tighter restrictions are intended to better regulate small-school teams.

“A smaller number really can have an impact there,” Lombardi said. “Three football players or one good basketball player moving to the smaller classifications of schools — A, 2A or 3A — has a much bigger impact than those numbers for the larger schools.

“To be consistent across the classifications, the board felt that those lower numbers more fully addressed competitive balance.”

However, before being forced to move up, a team also must accumulate six “success points” during a two-year PIAA cycle.

Teams can earn between one and four points each postseason based on how far they advance in the PIAA playoffs. For example, a state finalist receives four points.

The competitive balance formula affects only football and basketball.

The PIAA began tabulating success points during the 2018-19 school year. The data collected will be used for the 2020-21 and 2021-22 realignment, Lombardi said.

Eight WPIAL teams already have accumulated four success points:

Football: Aliquippa, Penn Hills

Boys basketball: Lincoln Park, Moon, Vincentian Academy

Girls basketball: Chartiers Valley, North Catholic, Peters Township

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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