Plans to expand, strengthen PIAA competitive-balance rule rejected by board

Wednesday, December 7, 2022 | 8:51 PM

MECHANICSBURG — Plans to revamp the competitive-balance formula were rejected Wednesday by the PIAA board, meaning only football and basketball teams are still impacted by the rule — and only those that add too many transfers.

The PIAA board voted 18-10 against a proposal that expanded the rule to include all team sports and eliminated the transfer requirement from the formula entirely. If the proposed changes had passed, the PIAA would’ve forced teams into a higher classification based on postseason success alone.

As currently written, the rule measures both success and transfers.

“You could be penalizing schools for (succeeding) through their own grassroots initiatives, which is youth organizations, middle school sports and ultimately the varsity,” said WPIAL president Dave McBain, the athletic director at West Allegheny. “They’re growing their talent from their own school district, not getting folks from outside. Our membership felt very strongly that wasn’t something we wanted to have happen.”

All three WPIAL representatives voted against the changes along with North Allegheny athletic director Bob Bozzuto, the president of the state ADs association.

“To remove that (transfer element), we didn’t feel it served the greater good,” said McBain, adding that WPIAL athletic directors association unanimously opposed the changes when the group recently met.

The PIAA board already had voted twice this year to approve the changes, most recently in October, but the proposal lost support before this third and final reading. PIAA executive director Bob Lombardi said while these changes won’t move forward, others might still happen.

“I think there are some board members who want to see changes to the formula,” he said, “but I don’t know what they want yet.”

Chris Harlan is a TribLive reporter covering sports. He joined the Trib in 2009 after seven years as a reporter at the Beaver County Times. He can be reached at

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