Some clarity is reached on PIAA classifications
The saga of expanding the PIAA football classifications from four to six classes will continue into the fall.
The PIAA's two committees responsible for the matter the strategic planning committee and the football steering committee met in late July to discuss the eight proposals on the table for football classification expansion.
Ultimately, no decisions were made on the fate of moving to six classes, as the boards agreed to table the discussion for this fall when the strategic planning committee meets in September, followed by a PIAA board meeting in October.
Whitehall Athletic Director and District 11 chairman, Bob Hartman, echoed those statements last week when talking about the decision to move discussions down the road.
"We just need more time to analyze everything," Hartman said. "We want to take the information back to our schools and discuss."
Things that were taken away from July's meeting were:
Ÿ A "10 percent" rule for counting enrollment numbers for all sports was passed;
Ÿ The eight proposals for football classifications was reduced to three proposals because of the instituted "10 percent" rule;
Ÿ A motion to reduce the length of the football season by one week was passed.
The "10 percent" rule change affects students who receive their education from home, cyber, charter, alternative, magnet or vocational schooling and will be counted toward overall enrollment of a school.
This is an important rule change, which will affect all sports starting in the 2016 cycle, because it helps public schools get on a more even playing field when it comes to classifications.
For example, if Whitehall had 100 appropriately aged male students who are either home or cyber schooled, all those boys would count toward male enrollment figure. The "10 percent" rule would only have 10 of those students count toward their numbers.
Hartman doesn't think the "10 percent" rule will have a major effect on schools in District 11, however.
With the institution of the "10 percent" rule, half of the eight football classification proposals were eliminated because only four of them included the "10 percent" rule.
The three proposals that are left are:
1. Status quo of current PIAA classification with four classes.;
2. Six classification proposal;
3. Six classes including a Super 700 class, which puts schools with male enrollment of 700 or more, into a 6A category, followed by five other classes of split up evenly.
The motion to reduce the season by a week gives schools options with how they want to handle it, but ultimately, getting the season down to 18 weeks is the goal.
"The consensus is that football season is too long," Hartman said. "Some of the options include taking your second scrimmage and using it as a game or keeping it as a second scrimmage."
With that said, teams have three options at their disposal:
1. Keep two scrimmages, play nine game regular season, and then onto playoffs;
2. Play one scrimmage, play 10 regular season games, and then onto playoffs;
3. Keep both scrimmages, play 10 regular season games, and cut playoffs by one week.
In the end, only time will tell what happens when the PIAA reconvenes in the coming months.