District 3 approves one-scrimmage option for football starting in 2016

The PIAA District III Committee today approved a measure to give its football schools the option to conduct one scrimmage and start the 2016 season as early as Friday, Aug. 26, instead of Friday, Sept. 2.


The measure, which passed unanimously, is as follows:


  • District 3 schools may participate in one scrimmage and begin the regular-season as early as Friday, Aug. 26.  Schools that choose this option may play a maximum 10-game schedule concluding on or before Nov. 5, 2016.  Key point: schools may only play 10 games in that 11-week period.


  • District 3 schools may also participate in two scrimmages, as per past practice, and play a 10-game schedule beginning the week following the Aug. 26 start date.  The regular-season schedule also must conclude on or before Nov. 5, 2016.


  • The District 3 Committee will determine the number of football qualifiers in each of the six classifications once the PIAA releases the state brackets in January.  District 3 has committed to maximizing the number of total qualifiers, but cautions that the number will be determined by when each classification enters the PIAA bracket.

In other actions:

  • District 3 has changed its pricing for the 2015-2016 District 3 M&T Bank Wrestling Championships.  The district will have two all-day admissions instead one admission on Friday and two on Saturday.   The admission on Friday, Feb. 26, at Hersheypark Arena will be $8 for adults and $6 for students.  The admission on Saturday, Feb. 27, at Hersheypark Arena will be $10 for adults and $8 for students.  Please keep in mind that the new Saturday price of $10 for adults and $8 for students replaces TWO admissions of $7 and $5 as per recent championships.


  • District 3 determined the number of qualifiers in all of its team sports except football as follows:
    • FIELD HOCKEY:  Class 3A – 10 qualifiers; 2A – 16; 1A – 14
    • GIRLS VOLLEYBALL:  4A – 16; 3A – 16; 2A – 6; 1A – 8
    • BOYS SOCCER:  4A – 16; 3A – 16; 2A – 10; 1A – 10
    • GIRLS SOCCER:  4A – 16; 3A – 16; 2A – 10; 1A – 8
    • GIRLS TENNIS:  3A – 12; 2A – 8
    • BOYS BASKETBALL:  6A – 12; 5A – 16; 4A – 10; 3A – 6; 2A – 4; 1A – 10
    • GIRLS BASKETBALL:  6A – 12; 5A – 16; 4A – 10; 3A – 6; 2A – 4; 1A – 10
    • WRESTLING:  3A – 16; 2A – 8
    • BASEBALL:  6A – 10; 5A – 14; 4A – 10; 3A – 6; 2A – 4; 1A – 6
    • SOFTBALL:  6A – 10; 5A – 16; 4A – 10; 3A – 6; 2A – 4; 1A – 2
    • GIRLS LACROSSE:  3A – 10; 2A – 12
    • BOYS LACROSSE:  3A – 8; 2A – 14
    • BOYS VOLLEYBALL:  3A – 14; 2A – 10
    • BOYS TENNIS:  3A 12; 2A – 8



Snyder, Robertson win D3 singles tennis titles; Minkin wins PIAA East Region golf

PIAA adds classifications in seven sports

On Wednesday, Oct. 7, 2015, the PIAA Board of Directors approved expanded classifications in seven sports.  Those sports (with the new number of classes in parentheses) are:


Football (6)

Basketball, Boys and Girls (6)

Baseball (6)

Softball (6)

Soccer, Boys and Girls (4)

Volleyball, Girls (4)

Field Hockey (3)


This sweeping change, which goes into effect for the 2016-2017 school year – as in, next year – will touch many aspects of District 3 and PIAA sports, not the least of which is the breakdown of schools in each district by sport.


Specifically in District 3, the change will have a significant effect on the power ranking system the district adopted in 2011-2012.  District 3 has engaged in some preliminary discussion about what expanded classifications will mean for District 3 schools.  But the district felt it best to stay away from concrete plans until the PIAA BOD made a decision on new classifications.  No one knew exactly how the entire matter would play out until  Wednesday.


Now that the vote has been taken and the decision has been made, both PIAA staff and the District 3 Committee will rapidly get to work on the various aspects of the new classification: Playoff brackets, power rankings, playoff dates and venues, officials (we need more!), etc.


But the first order of business will come at the end of October and early November when the PIAA has all of the enrollment figures from member schools in hand and is able to populate each sport in each district by classification.  That is the first and most critical component of the entire process.


So, patience, please, while schools submit those figures to PIAA, which in turn must provide the breakdown to the schools and the public.  Once that occurs, District 3 will be able to address all of the issues listed above.


Regardless of one’s position on classification expansion, Wednesday’s vote has ushered in a new and dynamic era in PIAA and District 3 sports.  While we at District 3 do not yet know exactly how this will impact any given school, we do know that we are ready to embrace the change and do our very best to provide student-athletes among our 100+ plus senior high schools with increased opportunity and first-rate championship events.


In short, we are excited about the upcoming changes in District 3 and PIAA championships.  We hope you are, too.


District 3 is pleased to announce the launch of the District 3 Fan Page, the new home of District 3 power rankings and contest results.

The Fan Page will give athletes, coaches, media and – of course – fans 24/7, real-time access to District 3 power rankings and contest results in all power-ranked sports.  The Fan Page will have its own dedicated tab on the website and will also be linked through the home page and the District 3 Power Rankings page.

District 3 will no longer produce static pdfs of the power rankings as it has the last five years.  Rather, the power rankings will be updated in real time.  That is, the power ranking you see at the moment could change within seconds if a new result is added after you enter the page.  As such, the power rankings will change throughout the day, every day, until the power rankings are closed following the deadline date for each sport.

District 3 schools are required to submit their own results to the power ranking software system.  It is important to note that just because one District 3 school submits its result, the power ranking generated by that contest is not fully updated until the opposing school also submits a result for the same contest.

District 3 is responsible for the input of results of non-District 3 opponents who have played District 3 opponents.  The district updates the non-District 3 results on a daily basis.  Contests for non-District 3 opponents are also included in the list of upcoming games.

While this is a significant change in the way District 3 reports its power rankings, we believe all who have an interest in power rankings will appreciate having 24/7, real-time access to the power rankings as well as contest results.

We hope you enjoy the new Fan Page.  Questions or comments, please direct to District 3 Webmaster Rod Frisco at tripletdad1@comcast.net.

District 3 Cross-Country Championships move to Big Spring HS in 2015 and 2016

The PIAA District 3 Committee unanimously approved Big Spring High School in Newville as the site for the District 3 M&T Bank Cross-Country Championships for the 2015-2016 and 2016-2017 school years.


The move was prompted by construction of a new road that will bisect the Parkview Cross-Country Course that District 3 has used since 2002.  Construction on the road, which is a PennDOT project, is scheduled to start in July of 2015 .  Because of the uncertainty of the course condition as a result of that pending construction, the district committee felt it was prudent to move the site.


In addition, the committee also decided to move the date of the cross-country championships from its recent Wednesday date to Saturday.  In 2015, the date will be Oct. 31.  In 2016, the date will be Oct. 29.

PIAA Board of Directors meeting, July 23, 2014

District 3 will provide updates from the PIAA Board of Directors meeting.  It will not be a live blog per se, but will be updated periodically.  Scroll down for updates.


The BOD approved the addition of District 1’s Springfield Twp. to the list of schools that sponsor softball, correcting an oversight from earlier this year.  The upshot is that Springfield’s addition to the list of District 1 schools with softball now gives District 1 four Class AA softball teams instead of three.  By PIAA policy, District 1 is now entitled to a spot in the PIAA Class AA Softball Championship bracket.  The approved Class AA brackets for 2014-2015 and 2015-2016 did not include a spot for District 1; they have been revised.


BOD rejected a request by District 1’s Calvary Christian to withdraw its voluntary upgrade  in boys’ BKB from A to AA.  Calvary Christian will remain Class AA for the 2014-2015 school year.


Marian Catholic’s request to upgrade from Class A to Class AA in softball was rejected.  Only District 11 voted in favor of the move.


Moravian Academy’s request to upgrade to AAA in baseball, softball and boys and girls basketball was narrowly approved.  The other schools were rejected because the request came after the established deadline for voluntary upgrade requests.  But Moravian Academy is now a full member of District 11’s Colonial League after having been an associate member of the league for years, and District 11 argued that, under the circumstances, the request should be approved.


SPRING CHAMPIONSHIP SITES – 2014-2015 through 2017-2018


Baseball – Penn State’s Medlar Field at Lubrano Park


Softball – Beard Field at Nittany Lion Softball Park


Lacrosse – Hersheypark Stadium


Boys’ Tennis – Hershey Racquet Club


Boys’ Volleyball – Recreational Hall at Penn State University


Track & Field – Seth Grove Stadium, Shippensburg University


Only baseball had more than one bidder:  Coca-Cola Park in Allentown submitted a RFP, but Penn State was chosen primarily for its central Pennsylvania location


District 3 took a little swat on a proposed by-law change to allow a principal’s designee (often an assistant principal or athletic director), as well as the principal, to sign the certificate of eligibility, transfer waiver request and request for a decision of eligibility.  The proposal received 20 yes votes and 9 no votes with two members absent, one vote short of the 21 yes votes needed for a two-thirds majority.  Thus the proposal failed; only the principal may sign off on those forms.


UPDATE:  Well, a little redemption for the good guys.  During a presentation by PIAA CEO Mark Byers on entering eligibility lists to piaa.org, a new an excellent feature, District I chairman Mike Barber brought up whether athletic directors were prohibited from signing-off on the lists given the rejection of designee proposal.  At least a few BOD members saw the light on the by-law proposal.  But rather than re-visit the proposal in its entirety, a proposal was made to allow the principal’s designee to sign off on eligibility lists only.  The new proposal passed 21-7, but it did show that District III’s original proposal had far greater application than some previously believed.


As our chairman, Ron Kennedy, said, “We’ll take small victories.”


The BOD did unanimously approve new and improved language addressing the failure of a school to participate in a scheduled contest.  The approved language is here.


The Board unanimously approved a new PIAA Class AAA Field Hockey Championship bracket based on some significant changes from the last several years (District 3 losing its fifth qualifier, District 7 turning back its second qualifier).  The result is a state bracket that is radically different from recent years.  The bracket is here.


Recently, the NFHS rescinded its ban on jewelry in track and field and cross-country, essentially allowing all jewelry to be worn during competition.  But the BOD took issue with that decision and moved to keep PIAA’s jewelry ban in place for the 2014-2015 season.  So, District III X-C and track athletes  … NO jewelry of any kind for this year’s meets.



The PIAA Board of Directors provided the first expansion of the state individual wrestling brackets in 41 years by adding four wrestlers per weight class, expanding the previous 16-man bracket to a 20-man bracket.


The change passed on a 26-5 affirmative vote; District 3’s representatives – Chairman Ron Kennedy of Donegal and Vice-Chairman Doug Bohannon of ELCO – voted against the proposal.  While District 3 does not oppose opportunities for participation, it opposes the notion that the additional wrestlers that advance to the state tournament will do so by losing a place match, rather than winning that match.


District 3 has advanced 4 wrestlers from its Class AAA wrestling championships directly to states the last two years.  But the 3-AAA championships are also the PIAA’s Southcentral Region, and the PIAA’s proportional representation gave District 3 a fourth qualifying spot at states.  District 3 will advance four AAA wrestlers to states in 2014-2015 and five AAA wrestlers to states in 2015-2016.  District 3 and District 1 have the same number of Class AAA wrestling schools and will split the additional qualifier between those two seasons.


In addition, District 3’s Class AA wrestlers must qualify to states through the PIAA Class AA Southeast Region Tournament.  That region, which includes Districts 1 and 11, has advanced 5 wrestlers per weight to states for several years.  With the expansion, that region (along with the AA Southwest Region) will advance 6 wrestlers per weight class.  Wrestlers who place sixth at regionals lose three matches during the region tournament.


It is now possible for a District 3 Class AA wrestler to lose 11 matches in the post-season and still claim a PIAA medal.  A Class AA wrestler could place sixth in sections (3 losses), fifth in districts (2 losses), sixth in regions (3 losses) and either sixth or eighth in states (3 losses).


But that is an unlikely scenario, and District 3 welcomes the opportunity for its wrestlers to advance into state competition.



Derek Hagino of Hempfield won his second straight District 3 M&T Bank Class AAA Boys Tennis Singles championship with a 7-5, 6-2 victory over Colin Muraika of Cedar Crest in the championship finals.  It was the fifth straight year that a player from the Lancaster-Lebanon League won the AAA boys singles championship.  Hagino won the last two ahead of Weston Fortna of Cedar Crest in 2012, Jack Berry of Manheim Twp. in 2011 and Jody Sambrick of Lampeter-Strasburg in 2010.


Andre Fick of Wyomissing won the District 3 M&T Bank Class AA Boys Tennis Singles championship.  Fick defeated Blaise Casselbury of Lancaster Country Day in straight sets, 7-5, 6-4.  it is the third straight year a Wyomissing player has won Class AA boys singles; Ricard Saad of Wyomissing won the last two AA titles.  It is the second straight year Casselbury has earned a singles’ silver medal.  Fick was third last year.


The top three finishers in each class qualified for the PIAA Tennis Singles Championship May 23-24 at Hershey Racquet Club. Tony Deimler af Warwick defeated Nolan Perugini of Exeter Twp. 6-3, 6-2 for third in Class AAA while Adam Bahney of ELCO defeated Sebastian Pena of Lancaster Country Day 6-1, 6-4 for third in Class AA.

Cumberland Valley wins PIAA Class AAA Girls Basketball Championship

Cumberland Valley defeated Spring-Ford 49-30 on Friday, March 21, to win the PIAA Class AAAA Girls Basketball Championship.


It was CV’s second girls’ state basketball title and its first since a 54-44 win over Oakland Catholic in 2002.  The Eagles had lost to Spring-Ford last year, 60-45.


CV head coach Bill Wolf has now won titles at two different schools, having won at Central Dauphin in 2008.


Happy Eagles!

Happy Eagles!

Two District III schools will play for PIAA basketball championships

Two PIAA District III schools will play for state basketball championships this weekend at Giant Center.


The Susquehanna Twp. boys will shoot for the PIAA Class AAA Boys Basketball Championships while the Cumberland Valley girl will play for the PIAA Class AAAA Girls Basketball Championship.


Susquehanna Twp. (23-7), the District III champion, will meet perennial finalist Saints of Neumann-Goretti (26-4), the District XII champion, at 8 p.m. on Friday at Giant Center.  Neumann-Goretti won three straight PIAA Class AAA boys’ titles in 2010, 2011 and 2012 before yielding to Imhotep Charter in 2013.  Susquehanna Twp. defeated Imhotep in the opening round of the PIAA playoffs, 65-47, on March 7.


The Indians have followed up that Imhotep victory with triumphs over Pottsville (52-45), Lancaster Mennonite (75-57) and Chartiers Valley (42-31).   Susquehanna Twp. will be seeking its first state boys’ basketball championships since 1997 when it defeated Lewistown 64-45 in the Class AAA Boys championship game.  The Indians also won the 1980 Class AA Boys championship.


Neumann-Goretti has defeated Berks Catholic (62-46), Wilkes-Barre Grand Army of the Republic [GAR] (73-55), Allentown Central Catholic (60-50) and Philadelphia Electric (65-53).


Cumberland Valley (27-5), the District III third-place team in Class AAAA girls, will meet District 1 runner-up Spring-Ford (27-6) for the second straight year in the PIAA championship game.   The Eagles will play Spring-Ford on Friday at 6 pm at Giant Center.  Spring-Ford defeated Cumberland Valley 60-45 in last year’s championship game.


Cumberland Valley has defeated Central Bucks West (46-43), Archbishop Carroll (34-28), Dover (45-36) and West Chester’s Bayard Rustin (61-45) to reach the championship game.


Spring-Ford beat Red Lion (51-45), Mechanicsburg (42-35), Abington (50-40) and North Allegheny (47-32) to reach the finals.