By: Joshua Blamer
The PIAA might see some changes soon as momentum is gaining behind a proposal to expand the divisions from four classifications to six. This is an idea that has been presented several times throughout PIAA history but it has always been shot down until now. The idea is being brought forward to a formal committee again in the near future once the numbers have come in for the projected enrollment in the 2016 school years.
Opinions on this proposal vary and there are several pros and cons to this idea. One of the major selling points of this idea is the fact that it will increase the probability that teams can win both divisional and state playoffs. The hope is that with more classes there will be more specific size classifications that will allow for fairer play.
However the downside to this is the fact that the competition will become much more spread out. The new classifications will also destroy several classic rivalries such as Mt. Lebo and USC, North Allegheny and North Hill, and Aliquippa and Beaver Falls.
This new system of competition will be the most beneficial to schools with higher enrollment levels. This is not necessarily beneficial to western Pennsylvania but it is in places like Philadelphia where there are twenty more schools participating at the Quad A level. Some people think that this may not be the best option for the WPIAL.
Mr. Larkin Hogel, Seton – La Salle’s athletic director, said, “I believe that this is not the appropriate method for the future of education systems in Western Pennsylvania, especially. The most needed action is for the state to force the merger of many of the single A school districts in our area. Those mergers would create better education systems, larger talent pools, and lead to some redistribution of the classes.”
Although there is still plenty of debate on the topic Mr. Hogel said that he personally believes that the proposal has a high probability of passing the vote.
Although some people have very strong opinions on the matter others don’t seem to have as firm beliefs on the matter. Matt Banbury and Jacob Blahut, who are both student athletes at Seton La-Salle, said they don’t really see any point in making new classes. They said they don’t think new classes are necessary and the divisions seem fairly even right now. But they did agree that it might make sense for districts with larger schools.
Keep your eye on PIAA athletic news over the coming months to see if this big change does in fact get voted into effect.