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Southern Columbia, Lackawanna Trail May Reclassify in Football Under New PIAA Rule

A new PIAA rule may affect two, successful, local football programs. It’s called the “Success Factor” and over a two-year cycle, schools are n...
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A new PIAA rule may affect two, successful, local football programs. It’s called the “Success Factor” and over a two-year cycle, schools are now ranked on a points system, based on state tournament success.

All schools will have their success in post-regular season rated by the following scale: one point for participation in an entry level inter-district championship contest, two points for participation in a quarter-final inter-district contest, three points for participation in a semi-final inter-district contest, and four points for participation in a final inter-district contest.

Schools will have to reclassify up a class if they reach six points in two years. The PIAA identified the following eight schools as teams that have met the points requirement (potential new class in parentheses): Farrell (2A), Lackawanna Trail (2A), Southern Columbia (3A), Wilmington (3A), Aliquippa (4A), Cathedral Prep (5A), Imhotep Charter (5A), and Archbishop Wood (6A).

Southern Columbia and Lackawanna Trail are the only local schools on the list, the Tigers with eight points for winning back-to-back state titles and the Lions with seven points for reaching the state title game in 2018 and the eastern final in 2019.

The other requirement for reclassification is “Transfers.” In football, schools must have what the PIAA considers to be be three transfer athletes to be eligible to reclassify. The PIAA reduced that number from five to three in October. These eight schools met the “Success Factor” requirement and have been identified as potentially reaching the “Transfers” requirement as well, according to the PIAA, though many plan to appeal based on the arbitrary transfer policy.

Final decisions will be made at the PIAA’s board meeting in January.

To read and learn more about the PIAA’s new “Success Factor” and “Transfers” policies, see the PIAA’s Competition Classification Formula.