MECHANICSBURG, Cumberland County — Under a new proposal announced this week by the Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association, the “big schools” from District 3 would head west to compete in the state football playoffs.
If the proposal passes, the new PIAA Class 6A and 5A brackets would move teams from District 7 (the Western Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association and Pittsburgh) and District 12 (the Philadelphia Public and Catholic leagues) to opposing ends of the bracket by switching District 3 to the “western” part of the bracket for the next two-year cycle, this year and in 2021.
The proposal was approved on a first-reading basis by the PIAA Board of Directors on Wednesday. In order to pass, the proposal must pass three “readings,” or votes. The proposal can be altered at any point leading up to the third reading and vote, according to PIAA bylaws.
Class 6A and Class 5A are the state’s two largest classifications.
The PIAA tweaks the brackets every two years.
See the proposed brackets here.
If the proposal passes, Class 6A would join the state bracket in the quarterfinal round (Week 13), one week after the District 3 championship game. The District 3 champ would face the District 7 champ in the 2020 playoffs.
In Class 5A, the District 3 champ enters in the semifinal round in Week 14, pitted against the District 7 champ.
In 4A, the District 3 champion enters the bracket in the semifinals, where it would face either the District 1, 2, or 12 champion, depending on who emerges from the earlier rounds.
In 3A, the District 3 titlist enters in the quarterfinals against the District 12 champion. That half of the bracket would feature the District 11 and 12 champions.
In Class 2A, the District 3 and District 12 champs also meet in the quarterfinals, with the winner advancing to face either the District 2, 4, 6, or 11 champion.
And in Class A, District 3 opens with a quarterfinal matchup against the District 4 champ. That side of the bracket also features the Districts 1, 2, 6, and 11 titlists.
The next proposal reading will be voted on at a PIAA board meeting on March 18.