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House of Representatives
Session of 2023 - 2024 Regular Session


Posted: February 3, 2023 01:17 PM
From: Representative Scott Conklin
To: All House members
Subject: Playoff reform for the PIAA (updated)
(Note:  this version changes the word 'requiring' to 'allowing' in the 3rd paragraph)

Sportsmanship. Teamwork. Winning. Losing. Some of life’s greatest lessons are learned on the field, the court, the diamond or any other surface where a sport is played. However, when one team is at a competitive advantage over the over, those lessons, along with the fun and safety of sports, are all but lost.

As humans continue to evolve, our children are getting bigger, stronger and faster. While our public high schools, or boundary schools, may have a limited number of athletes with superior size, strength and speed, private, charter and parochial schools, otherwise known as non-boundary schools, are fortunate to have the resources and capabilities to attract these types of athletes.

When it comes to competition in team sports, especially football and basketball, private, charter and parochial schools have been dominant in state playoffs over the past several years. While competition is an important aspect of sports, I am also concerned about the safety and welfare of student-athletes. Not all student athletes have superior size, strength and speed, however, when one team has the ability to field more of those athletes due to the lack of a boundary, it creates both an unfair advantage and an unsafe environment. That is why I want to level the playing field and make high school teams sports both safe and fun again by allowing the Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association (PIAA) to establish separate playoff systems and championships for boundary and non-boundary schools.

Let’s work together to make high school team sports safer, more competitive and fun for our kids again. Teamwork is something we need to do more of so that we can all get a win.


Introduced as HB1983