The PIAA District III Committee voted unanimously at its March 8, 2017, meeting to prepare its member schools for a possible change in football playoff starting dates for the 2018-2019 school year.


The Committee moved that member schools with football must be prepared to start their football playoffs in Week 10 of the PIAA football calendar. District III began its football playoffs in Week 11 of the 2016-2017 football calendar and will do the same next year, the 2017-2018 season.  The district committee stresses that there will be many factors that can affect District III’s eventual decision on when to begin its 2018-2019 football playoffs. This motion paves the way for any future changes.


Should the district begin football playoffs in Week 10 in 2018, District III schools that wish to play 10 regular-season games starting in 2018-2019 may only participate in one scrimmage and begin their regular-season schedules in what PIAA currently refers to as Week 0 on the football calendar.  Schools that wish to participate in two scrimmages may do so, but may only play 9 regular-season games should they choose to enter the District III Football Championships.


In other news:


Baseball – District III baseball chairman Pat Tulley, athletic director at Governor Mifflin HS, informed the Committee that only First Energy Stadium in Reading is available on the district’s championship date of June 1.  All of the other minor league stadiums in District III are booked on June 1, which means the district will seek alternative sites for four of its six championship games.


Mr. Tulley also said that all games through the quarterfinal round will be played at the home sites of the higher seeds based on the District III power rankings.  All semifinal games, place games and championship games will be played at neutral sites.   If a school enters the district playoff bracket in the semifinal round, it will not host a game.


Softball – District III softball chairman Steph Deibler, athletic director at Schuylkill Valley HS, reported that softball will also follow the higher seed hosting policy through quarterfinals.  Site selection for championship games will be confirmed as the playoffs proceed.  Softball also moves from four to six classifications this year.


Boys volleyball – District III volleyball chairman Tory Harvey, athletic director at Dallastown Area HS, reported that for the first time, volleyball will also use home sites for the higher seed.  But unlike baseball and softball, volleyball will play doubleheaders, not single games, during the early rounds.


Lacrosse – Lacrosse will move from one to two classifications for both boys and girls in 2017.  District III lacrosse chairman Mike Craig of Cumberland Valley HS reported that the girls’ championships will be played on Mondays and Wednesdays during the two-week lacrosse playoff period and that boys’ championship will be played Tuesdays and Thursday during the same period.  Hersheypark Stadium will be the site of the District III M&T Bank Lacrosse Championships.