Seven programs, including Delone Catholic girls, file PIAA appeals contesting promotion

(Greensburg) Tribune-Review (TNS)

Seven schools statewide, including the Delone Catholic girls' program from the York-Adams League, filed appeals this week with the PIAA, all hoping their basketball teams can avoid being promoted by the competitive-balance rule.

The Delone Catholic girls' basketball team celebrates its 2019 state Class 3-A championship. If the school loses a PIAA appeal, it will be forced to play in Class 4-A next season.

The deadline to file was noon Friday.

Delone is coming off a Class 3-A state championship season in 2019 and made the 3-A state quarterfinals in 2020 before the season was halted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Delone is among 15 schools that the PIAA intends to force into a higher classification for the next two seasons unless it wins an appeal. The competitive-balance rule targets basketball teams that had success in the state playoffs and added at least one transfer.

If Delone loses the appeal, it will have to play in Class 4-A next season.

Delone Catholic High to appeal PIAA's decision to move up girls' basketball program

The Squirettes were listed as having three transfers by the PIAA, but Delone officials contend that none of those girls should be considered transfers.

The Lincoln Park boys, Chartiers Valley girls, Camp Hill Trinity boys, Bellwood Antis girls and Dunmore girls also filed appeals, PIAA executive director Bob Lombardi said.

The PIAA executive staff will review the submitted information and respond to schools early next week, Lombardi said.

If the executive committee denies an appeal, that school can appeal to the entire PIAA board of directors later this month.

Not filing appeals were the Archbishop Wood boys, Imhotep Charter boys, Bonner-Prendergast boys, Math, Civics and Sciences Charter boys, Bishop Guilfoyle boys, Sankofa Freedom Academy boys, Archbishop Carroll girls and Bethlehem Catholic girls.

Of the 15 schools, six are from District 12, which includes Philadelphia Catholic League and public school teams.

The competitive-balance rule was enacted by the PIAA board two years ago, in part to quiet calls from public school administrators demanding a separate postseason tournament for private schools. Next school year — 2020-21 — will be the first time teams are forced to move up.

The rule impacts only football and basketball.

The PIAA formula awards four success points to teams that participate in the state finals, three to semifinalists, two to quarterfinalists or one for first-round participants.

Points are counted over two seasons. The PIAA then examines the rosters of teams that collected six or more points to see whether they also added any transfers. Teams must have both six or more success points and at least one transfer to move up.