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PIAA to host public hearing on playoff season rules

There is a battle going on off the filed right now between a group of schools and the PIAA.

Some lawmakers are looking to level the playing field when it comes to school athletics.

Some people across the state are pushing to create a separate playoff system in football and basketball for so-called boundary and non-boundary schools.

Boundary schools are public schools that take kids within their geographic limits. Non-boundary schools can recruit and take kids from anywhere, sometimes giving them a competitive advantage.

Some argue, the current system creates an unfair advantage for teams that don't have the normal restrictions of public schools.

“Some of the coaches that were coming forward, locally and across the state, talking about some of the competitive imbalances and giving examples of questionable transfers - notably some from out of state who played there football season in New Jersey all of a sudden playing in the PIAA playoffs in Pennsylvania," said State Senator Scott Martin, who sits on the PIAA Legislative Oversight committee.

Back in July, the PIAA addressed some of those issues by tightening some of the transfer rules for student-athletes while instituting a formula that will determine if a school needs to move up in the current classification system.

“Some folks out there have pretty strong feelings on whether or not they should separate public and private,” said Martin. “The PIAA has put forth a new formula that tries to not only track the transfers but actually if you’re going to accept a lot of new transfers it’s going to add points to a competitive formula that may make you move up in various divisions.”

On Wednesday, lawmakers will meet with superintendents and athletic directors in Pittsburgh to discuss if they should change a 1972 legal mandate that states all schools, no matter public or private, must play in the same playoff season.

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