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District 3 releases winter sports playoff plan, including dates, formats and qualifiers

ROB ROSE
717-505-5418/@robrosesports
  • District 3 basketball tournaments will begin on March 2.
  • District 3 swimming will feature a one-day event on March 6.
  • District 3 wrestling and swimming will have no fans allowed during their events.
Susquehannock's Jalen Franklin, center, works to get past Kennard-Dale's Ryan Schubert, left, and Koy Swanson during boys' basketball action at Kennard-Dale High School in Fawn Township, Friday, Jan. 15, 2021. Kennard-Dale would win the game 50-48. Dawn J. Sagert photo

Get out the calendar.

It's time to mark off the key winter sports dates for the playoffs.

During Tuesday's Zoom board meeting, District 3 revealed its revised postseason plans for the 2021 winter sports season, which included information on dates, qualifiers, locations, spectators and fees.

Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, which forced a state-mandated three-week pause to the winter scholastic season, the postseason will look much different this year. 

Basketball will be the lone sport that won't cut down its number of qualifiers, but the hoops tournament will be single elimination and go without a consolation bracket.

That's because the PIAA state playoffs will feature only district champions, which makes district consolation games unnecessary. That is the same format used this past fall.

The state playoffs will continue to feature a single-elimination format, as in past years.

Spring Grove vs. Central York during girls' basketball action at Central York High School in Springettsbury Township, Wednesday, Jan. 13, 2021. Spring Grove would win the game 52-47. Dawn J. Sagert photo

The basketball tournament will begin on March 2 with all games hosted by the higher seed. No games will be played at the Giant Center this season. Teams must play eight games by Feb. 27 to qualify and the final rankings will be released on Feb. 28.

District 3 recommends that visiting fans be allowed, but that will be decided by the hosting schools. Ticket prices will rise to $8 to help offset costs and will remain at that price when the event returns to the Giant Center in the future.

The number of basketball qualifiers per class, based on the 2020 brackets, will be: 12 in 6-A, 16 in 5-A, 10 in 4-A, four in 2-A and 10 in 1-A. In 3-A, eight boys' teams will qualify, while six girls' teams will qualify.

West York wrestles at York Suburban Tuesday, Jan. 12, 2021. Bill Kalina photo

Wrestling: Unlike basketball, wrestling will not allow spectators because individual events will be held at single locations, while featuring wrestlers from multiple schools.

District 3 is working with FloWrestling to stream the event. Plans on the website begin at $12.50 per month.

Schools will be invoiced a $25 fee per wrestler to offset official and trainer fees.

The district tournaments will feature an eight-athlete double-elimination format. 

Sectional seeding meetings will be held on Feb. 17. Class 2-A and 3-A sectional tournaments will be on Feb. 20. The 2-A sites are Susquenita and Central Dauphin East. The 3-A venues are Governor Mifflin, Mechanicsburg, Hempfield and South Western.

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The District 3 2-A tournament will be held at Central Dauphin East on Feb. 21. The District 3 3-A tournament will be on Feb. 27 at Spring Grove.

The 2-A regional will be on Feb. 27. Super-regionals will be on March 6 and the PIAA tournaments are set for March 12 and March 13.

Online programs will be available for basketball and wrestling.

Spring Grove's Daniel Gordon wins the boys 100-yard butterfly event at 53.18 during swimming action at Dallastown Area High School in York Township, Thursday, Jan. 14, 2021. Dawn J. Sagert photo

Swimming: Like wrestling, swimming will not allow spectators at its postseason events.

District 3 is working on a plan to stream the event. Schools will be invoiced $25 per athlete to offset costs.

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Twelve divers, 12 swimmers for each event and eight relay teams per event and gender will qualify. The 2-A diving will be held at Big Spring on Feb. 24 and 3-A diving will be on Feb. 27 at Wilson. Both the 2-A and 3-A swimming championships will be held on March 6, with the 2-A event at Central York and the 3-A meet at Cumberland Valley.

Competitive spirit and bowling: The competitive spirit championships will be held at Central Dauphin East on March 21.

Bowling's independent qualifier tournament will be held on Feb. 13 and will cost $10 for each athlete. Four independent bowlers will advance to the 24-athlete District 3 championship field.

The next District 3 meeting is scheduled for Feb. 18, but is likely to be pushed back.

Reach Rob Rose at rrose@yorkdispatch.com.