With enrollment figures set, WPIAL committees face task of slotting teams for next 2 years

Thursday, December 7, 2017 | 4:21 PM

Next season's classifications are set for WPIAL football teams, so now it's on to the conferences.

The PIAA finalized its classifications for the 2018-19 and 2019-20 school years Wednesday, leaving coaches and players eager to see who their team will play next fall. They'll need to wait until Jan. 15 for that information.

In the next five weeks, various WPIAL committees will take the new PIAA-compiled lists that divide schools by enrollment and separate them further into conferences. The process starts Tuesday when the WPIAL strategic planning committee meets.

“Their goal at that meeting will be to come up with some parameters that they're going to recommend to the board,” WPIAL executive director Tim O'Malley said. “The committee is going to look at the number of schools in each class in each sport and dictate how many (conferences each class should have).”

For example, there are 24 teams in Class 5A football. Should there be three eight-team conferences or four six-team conferences? Can there be more than one conference in Class 6A, which has only nine teams? How many conferences will there be in Class 2A, which now has 31 teams?

Those are decisions for the planning committee, which will make recommendations for all WPIAL sports, not just football. The WPIAL board of directors will consider the recommendations at its Dec. 18 meeting. Once approved, those parameters will be forwarded to the individual steering committee for each sport.

Chris Harlan is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at charlan@tribweb.com or via Twitter @CHarlan_Trib.

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