Legislation Creating Separate Playoff Systems for Public, Private Schools Proposed
A Pennsylvania state representative Tuesday proposed legislation that would create a separate PIAA playoff system for public and private schools.
Rep. Aaron Bernstine, R-10th District, announced the bill called The Parity in Interscholastic Athletics Act (House Bill 1600) at the State Capitol.
Public and private schools would compete in separate playoff brackets, and the two state champions would meet for a final championship.
The new structure would apply to football, baseball, softball, girls’ and boys’ basketball, girls’ volleyball, and girls’ and boys’ soccer.
The Pennsylvania Catholic Conference and the public school superintendent-led Pennsylvania Athletic Equity Steering Committee have shown support for the proposed changes.
The legislation also includes the following changes:
- Eliminate the transfer rule, making a student immediately eligible to play after transferring schools if he or she meets all other eligibility standards. In-season transfer eligibility would be restricted with exceptions granted for certain extenuating circumstances.
- Disqualify a team for PIAA playoffs if it forfeits two or more regular-season games in one season.
- Allow for separate playoff brackets to be used in additional team sports if there are at least 50 public schools and 50 nonpublic schools participating in the sport.
- Increase fairness in the PIAA’s district committees to ensure each district accurately reflects the makeup of schools in that given area.