Debate on competitive imbalance gets aired out by PIAA

By Matthew DeGeorge

The PIAA is taking steps to address the competitive imbalance in district and state tournaments. The plan for evening the playing field, though, isn’t what the title of Monday’s hearing indicated.

At the Pennsylvania Athletic Oversight Committee’s meeting on, “Public, Private Sports,” the idea of conducting separate championships was not brought to the table for discussion. Instead, the PIAA is spearheading initiatives it hopes will lessen competitive imbalance by targeting the pressure points with which administrators and legislators are often presented.

“There’s no doubt that concern and criticism over this issue has intensified recently,” said Rep. Gene DiGirolamo, (R-18) of Bensalem, the chairman of the PAOC.

“Of all the issues, it’s one of the ones I hear about the most,” said Sen. Scott Martin (R-13) of Lancaster.

In the short-term, the PIAA has implemented or proposed several measures to root out and deter athletically motivated transfers. But as explained by PIAA Executive Director Dr. Robert Lombardi, a longer-term plan that has passed a first reading by the PIAA’s board would install a system that utilizes not just enrollment but transfers and a success factor to determine classification.

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