Some big changes possible in PIAA postseason wrestling, for both individual and team events

The (Greensburg) Tribune Review (TNS)

When the PIAA meets May 18, a major change in wrestling will need to be approved.

The PIAA wrestling steering committee reconvened Tuesday and after hours of discussions, approved a format that will decide which area gets more qualifiers for the PIAA individual championships.

Regions will receive additional qualifiers based on results, not the number of schools in a particular region.

Two proposals were voted down before the committee accepted the third by an 11-3 vote.

The first proposal was to make a West Region by combining the WPIAL and the Northwest Region in 3-A. That vote ended 7-7 with the District 1 committee changing his original yes vote to a no.

The second proposal was to go to four regions. That also was voted down.

The committee approved the third proposal. Each region in Class 3-A — there are five — would receive three automatic qualifiers. The five remaining spots in the 16-wrestler bracket would be determined on the strength of the region using a formula.

The formula considers the top three finishers in each region and how those returning underclassmen finished in the medal count.

Because the WPIAL and District 11 arguably are the strongest in the state, the formula gave those two regions five qualifiers. South Central (District 3) would stay at four qualifiers while the Northwest and Southeast regions would receive three each.

One of the things the committee talked about is how swimming and track and field qualifying were performance based. Each district received a certain number of qualifiers and the rest were based on hitting a qualifying standard.

Class 2-A will use the same formula.

Because there are only four regions, each region will get four automatic qualifiers. The formula will then be used to determine which region receives the addition qualifiers.

Based on the formula, the Northeast will receive six, the Southwest and Southeast five each and the Northwest four.

Another surprising proposal, which was rumored on social media last week but not talked about at Tuesday's meeting, was to expand the team tournament to four divisions.

That was approved 12-0 after the group originally voted 10-0 to accept the two-division concept in the first meeting on March 30.

The four divisions will likley be achieved by splitting Class 2-A in half and splitting Class 3-A in half.

The proposal needs to get one more hurdle during the PIAA Board of Control meeting in May.