York County wrestling fans will have a lot shorter trip next season to watch the District 3 Class 3-A Individual Championships.
It was announced this week that, for the first time in 18 years, the district will split its individual wrestling championships into two separate sites for 2020.
The 3-A event will be held in York County at Spring Grove High School, while the 2-A tournament will be held at Central Dauphin East High School in Dauphin County.
Last year, both the 3-A and 2-A tournaments were held at Hersheypark Arena, known as the "Old Barn." The 2019 tournaments were originally scheduled to be held at the Giant Center, next door to the Hersheypark Arena, but later were moved to the "Old Barn" to make way for a concert at the Giant Center.
In the two previous years, both the 3-A and 2-A championships had been held together at the Giant Center.
In 2020, both championships will be contested on Friday, Feb. 21, and Saturday, Feb. 22. Complete details, including time schedules, will be published on the District 3 website at the beginning of the 2019-2020 winter sports season.
The decision to return to high schools for the first time since 2002 was announced on Monday by District 3 wrestling co-chairman Mike Craig, athletic director at Cumberland Valley High School.
Section change: Craig also announced another major change in the section wrestling tournaments. Quarterfinal matches will be wrestled on the first night, rather than the following morning. Just like last year, 3-A sections will be at four sites and 2-A sections will be at two sites. Section tournaments will be conducted on Friday, Feb. 14, and Saturday, Feb. 15.
After last year's section tournaments adopted expanded wrestle-backs, District 3 officials decided to return to two-day section tournaments and cautiously decided to forego the quarterfinal round on the first night. As it turned out, all sections ended quite early on Friday and several high seeds weighed in (by rule) on Friday night, but did not wrestle. That will change in 2020, with quarterfinal matches immediately following the first-round matches.
Team championships: The timeline for the 2020 District 3 Team Wrestling Championships was also released. The top 16 3-A teams in the District 3 power ratings and the top 12 2-A teams will qualify for their respective tournaments.
The team championship timeline is as follows:
►Monday, Jan. 27: 2-A first-round matches, higher seed hosts.
►Tuesday, Jan. 28: 3-A first round and quarterfinals at sites of top four seeds.
►Wednesday, Jan. 29: 2-A quarterfinals, semifinals and consolation first round at sites of top two seeds.
►Thursday, Jan. 30: 3-A semifinals and first two rounds of consolations at Spring Grove.
►Saturday, Feb. 1: All matches at Milton Hershey School, with 2-A semifinals and consolation semifinals, 10:30 a.m.; 3-A championship and third-place match, 1 p.m.; and 2-A championship and third-place match, 3:30 p.m.
Information for this story was provided by PIAA District 3.