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District 3 announces adjustments to fall sports playoff formats

The district strongly recommends its member schools adhere to current state limitations regarding spectators at fall sports events until the matter is clarified
PIAA

HARRISBURG, Pa. — The Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association District 3 committee announced Wednesday it has made minor alterations to the reduced-playoff format it approved on August 10.

 A smaller number of both qualifiers and contests are planned for the 2020-2021 PIAA fall sports season, which is now underway, the district said.

The District 3 committee said its spectator policy has been placed in limbo while Governor Tom Wolf decides whether or not to veto HB 2787, which passed by more than 75 percent of both chambers in the General Assembly, potentially making it veto-proof. HB 2787 challenged the spectator policies put in place by the Pennsylvania Dept. of Health, limiting outdoor gatherings of more than 250 people.

Wolf's authority to implement various mandates was also found unconstitutional by a federal judge this week, even though the Pennsylvania Supreme Court affirmed his emergency powers under the state constitution and another federal judge dismissed similar challenges in a similar lawsuit, District 3 said.

As a result, the PIAA and the District 3 committee is strongly urging member schools to adhere to existing limitations of 25 people at indoor events and 250 people at outdoor events while the legal and political matters are being clarified.

Here are the updated playoff policies for fall sports, according to District 3:

FIELD HOCKEY

  • Eight qualifiers in each of three classifications (3A, 2A, 1A) determined by the District III Power Ranking System
  • Power Ranking Deadline: Contests played on Saturday, Oct. 31
  • Quarterfinals on Wednesday, Nov. 4; semifinals on Saturday, Nov. 7; championships on Wednesday, Nov. 11. Game times to be determined
  • All contests played at the site of the higher seed.  All contests on turf.  If a school does not have a turf facility, the host school most secure a turf facility (District III will assist if needed)
  • Host school pays games expenses if played at host site; District III will pay expenses if game must be moved to a turf facility.
  • Spectators permitted under the following conditions:  No more than 250 people total in an outdoor facility, including all athletes, coaches, officials and game personnel. All in attendance must adhere strictly to the Return to Competition Guidelines.
  • Only District III champions advance to PIAA Championships

FOOTBALL

  • Qualifiers in each class will be determined by the District III Power Ranking System.
  • Power Ranking Deadline: Contests played by Monday, Oct. 26
  • Two qualifiers in Class 1A and Class 2A.
  • Class 1A championship game on Friday, Oct. 30 or Saturday, Oct. 31 at the home site of the No. 1 seed.
  • Class 2A championship game on Friday, Nov. 6 or Saturday, Nov. 7 at the home site of the No. 1 seed.
  • Four qualifiers in Class 3A, Class 4A, Class 5A and Class 6A.
  • Class 3A and Class 6A semifinals will be played on Friday, Oct. 30 or Saturday, Oct. 31. Championship games will be played on Friday, Nov. 6 or Saturday, Nov. 7. All games will be played at the home site of the higher seed.
  • Class 4A and Class 5A semifinals will be played on Friday, Nov. 6 or Saturday, Nov. 7. Championship games will be played on Friday, Nov. 13, or Saturday, Nov. 14. All games will be played at the home site of the higher seed.
  • Host schools will pay game expenses.
  • Spectators permitted under the following conditions:  No more than 250 people total in an outdoor facility, including all athletes, coaches, officials and game personnel. All in attendance must adhere strictly to the Return to Competition Guidelines.
  • Only District III champions advance to the PIAA Championships.

BOYS AND GIRLS SOCCER

  • Qualifiers in each class will be determined by the District III Power Ranking System.
  • Power Ranking Deadline: Contests played on Saturday, Oct. 31
  • Four qualifiers in Class 1A and Class 2A. Semifinals to be played Saturday, Nov. 7. Championship finals to be played Tuesday, Nov. 10.
  • Eight qualifiers in Class 3A and Class 4A. Quarterfinals to be played Wednesday, Nov. 4. Semifinals to be played Saturday, Nov. 7. Championship finals to be played Tuesday, Nov. 10.
  • All games, including championship finals, will be played at the home site of the higher seed. Exception: The championship final in each classification will be held at the home site of the highest remaining seed if that school has a turf field. If a school does not have a turf facility, the host school most secure a turf facility (District III will assist if needed).
  • Host sites will pay game expenses.
    * Spectators permitted under the following conditions:  No more than 250 people total in an outdoor facility, including all athletes, coaches, officials and game personnel. All in attendance must adhere strictly to the Return to Competition Guidelines.
  • Only District III champions advance to the PIAA Championships

GIRLS TEAM TENNIS

  • Four qualifiers in each class will be determined by the District III Power Ranking System.
  • Power Ranking Deadline: Contests played by Saturday, Oct. 10
  • Class 2A and Class 3A semifinals to be played Wednesday, Oct. 14 (rain date Oct. 15). Times to be determined.
  • Class 2A and Class 3A championship finals to be played Friday, Oct. 16 (rain date Oct. 17). Time to be determined.
  • Only District III champions advance to PIAA Championships. No consolation matches.
  • All matches played at the home courts of the higher seed. Matches might be moved indoors in the case of inclement weather.
  • Spectators permitted under the following conditions:  No more than 250 people total in an outdoor facility, including all athletes, coaches, officials and game personnel. All in attendance must adhere strictly to the Return to Competition Guidelines.
  • Only District III champions advance to the PIAA Championships

GIRLS SINGLES TENNIS

  • League champions only qualify in Class 2A and Class 3A.
  • Singles semifinals in both classes to be played Monday, Oct. 19 (rain date Oct. 20)
  • Singles championships in both classes to be played Wednesday, Oct. 21 (rain date Oct. 22)
  • Sites for both semifinals and finals at neutral courts will be determined.
  • Doubles semifinals and championship matches to be played Friday, Oct. 23 (rain date Oct. 24)
  • Neutral site for doubles will be determined.
  • Spectators permitted under the following conditions:  No more than 250 people total in an outdoor facility, including all athletes, coaches, officials and game personnel. All in attendance must adhere strictly to the Return to Competition Guidelines.
  • Only District III champions in both singles and doubles advance to the PIAA Championships.

GIRLS VOLLEYBALL

  • Qualifiers in each class will be determined by the District III Power Ranking System.
  • Power Ranking Deadline: Contests played on Saturday, Oct. 31
  • Four qualifiers in Class 1A and Class 2A. Semifinals to be played Saturday, Nov. 7. Championships to be played Tuesday, Nov. 10.
  • Eight qualifiers in Class 3A and Class 4A. Quarterfinals to be played Thursday, Nov. 5. Semifinals to be played Saturday, Nov. 7. Championships to be played Tuesday, Nov. 10.
  • All games, including championship finals, will be played at the home gymnasium of the higher seed. Host sites will pay game expenses.
  • Spectators permitted under the following conditions:  No more than 25 people total in an indoor facility, including all athletes, coaches, officials and game personnel. All in attendance must adhere strictly to the Return to Competition Guidelines.
    * Only District III champions advance to the PIAA Championships

BOYS AND GIRLS CROSS COUNTRY

  • Meet will be conducted on Saturday, Oct. 31, at Big Spring HS in Newville.
  • Class 2A and Class 3A qualifying: Team - the top two teams in each league championship meet. Individual - The top 10 finishers in each league championship meet.
  • Class 1A qualifying: All Class 1A runners are invited to attend.
  • Spectator information is pending.

BOYS AND GIRLS GOLF (UPDATED)

  • The Team and Individual Golf Championships will be conducted Friday, Oct. 9 and Saturday, Oct. 10 at Briarwood Golf Course in York.
  • The Team Championship will be a one-day event on Friday, Oct. 9, in conjunction with the first round of the Individual Championships. The second and final round of the Individual Championship will be played on Saturday, Oct. 10
  •  Individual qualifying will be done through league championships. The number of qualifiers will be reduced from recent years.
  • All Class 2A rounds will be played at Briarwood West Course. All Class 3A rounds will be played at Briarwood East Course.
  • Spectator information is pending.

As noted above, there are current legal challenges to the executive branch Here are the changes in summary:

  • OUTDOOR EVENTS: Spectators permitted under the following conditions:  No more than 250 people total in an outdoor facility, including all athletes, coaches, officials and game personnel. All in attendance must adhere strictly to the Return to Competition Guidelines.
  • INDOOR EVENTS:  Spectators permitted under the following conditions:  No more than 25 people total in an indoor facility, including all athletes, coaches, officials and game personnel. All in attendance must adhere strictly to the Return to Competition Guidelines.

District 3 said it will work with schools and livestreaming providers to have District 3 championship events livestreamed to the public, if possible, should spectator limitations be in place at that time. Subscription fees may apply. The district is in the process of investigating various possibilities, it said.

The District 3 Committee urges its member schools to familiarize themselves with the PIAA guidelines regarding return to competition.