Determination of the number of qualifying entries for State Track
05/18/2018 10:32:44 AM
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The PIAA rules on the number of state T&F qualifying spots for each district indicate that these are determined by the number of teams but if you look at the number of AA teams in District 3 (2 slots) vs Districts 6 and 12 (3 slots), District 3 has more teams in their district meets than either of those and is given fewer qualifiers. Also, D3 and D7 have 38 and 68 schools respectively and D7 has more than double the number of qualifiers but D3 has more than half the number of schools. As always, the athletes can always qualify by running an auto qualify time but in years where the weather conditions are poor and affect the result (like this year), fewer athletes can achieve an auto qualifying spot. Any ideas on why these discrepancies exist? Are the numbers rebalanced from time to time?
The PIAA rules on the number of state T&F qualifying spots for each district indicate that these are determined by the number of teams but if you look at the number of AA teams in District 3 (2 slots) vs Districts 6 and 12 (3 slots), District 3 has more teams in their district meets than either of those and is given fewer qualifiers. Also, D3 and D7 have 38 and 68 schools respectively and D7 has more than double the number of qualifiers but D3 has more than half the number of schools.

As always, the athletes can always qualify by running an auto qualify time but in years where the weather conditions are poor and affect the result (like this year), fewer athletes can achieve an auto qualifying spot.

Any ideas on why these discrepancies exist? Are the numbers rebalanced from time to time?
05/18/2018 4:43:55 PM
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@bshsxc D12 has 31 AA schools while D3 has either 27 or 29 depending upon sex, at least that's what the PIAA website says.
@bshsxc

D12 has 31 AA schools while D3 has either 27 or 29 depending upon sex, at least that's what the PIAA website says.
05/19/2018 4:35:07 AM
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@nkosiek That's odd because if I look up the number of participating teams for each of the district meets, I'm seeing only 26 for D12 and 38 in D3. Quite a discrepancy.
@nkosiek
That's odd because if I look up the number of participating teams for each of the district meets, I'm seeing only 26 for D12 and 38 in D3. Quite a discrepancy.
05/19/2018 8:43:17 AM
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are you sure that in AA in D3 there are only 2 auto qualifiers? That seems low to me with the number of schools in the district you are talking about. D7 gets 5 auto qualifiers with their large number of schools but D3 may be the second most AA schools. Just check for sure?
are you sure that in AA in D3 there are only 2 auto qualifiers? That seems low to me with the number of schools in the district you are talking about. D7 gets 5 auto qualifiers with their large number of schools but D3 may be the second most AA schools. Just check for sure?
05/19/2018 8:47:32 AM
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D3 AA Boys used to have 3 auto q til a several years ago. Here is the link that shows the number of schools. http://www.piaa.org/schools/classifications/classlist.aspx?sportID=34
D3 AA Boys used to have 3 auto q til a several years ago. Here is the link that shows the number of schools. http://www.piaa.org/schools/classifications/classlist.aspx?sportID=34
05/19/2018 9:12:13 AM
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The list of attending teams would include boys and girls together (on the mile split coverage column). Maybe that is the reason for the expanded number of teams you see participating in D3? I just looked at enrollments and out of the 29 D3 boys AA schools listed there are 8 under 100 enrollment, some very small. D7 has 64 AA and only 8 under 100. D12 has 31 AA and not many under 100. I guess if they are shaving numbers of auto qualifiers the sizes of the schools themselves may play a part. The goal is to get around 24 finalists from districts to states so with 12 districts there's your answer. SQS standards can add a few but not that many. I'm just happy PA has stayed with two classes over the years in track.
The list of attending teams would include boys and girls together (on the mile split coverage column). Maybe that is the reason for the expanded number of teams you see participating in D3? I just looked at enrollments and out of the 29 D3 boys AA schools listed there are 8 under 100 enrollment, some very small. D7 has 64 AA and only 8 under 100. D12 has 31 AA and not many under 100. I guess if they are shaving numbers of auto qualifiers the sizes of the schools themselves may play a part. The goal is to get around 24 finalists from districts to states so with 12 districts there's your answer. SQS standards can add a few but not that many. I'm just happy PA has stayed with two classes over the years in track.
05/20/2018 7:01:44 AM
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I believe it is number of schools. It doesn't matter if they have a track team.
I believe it is number of schools. It doesn't matter if they have a track team.
05/21/2018 9:31:49 AM
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I was wondering if school population played a part but if you look at the way the rule is worded, it is only based on the number of schools, not how large the schools are. I know there is no perfect system but if you consider that in District 3, all of the top 8 girls in in the 2A 1600 were faster than the district champion in D12 (the 3200 had a similar result), there are a lot of talented girls from D3 who did not qualify and are done for the season. Turns out the Milesplit participating schools number has some errors (some schools that should be in AAA for D3) and also some schools are in AAA for either boys or girls. The PIAA website seems to have some issues also (or things that have changed since the list was created). Carson Long competed in D3 AA but was not listed in the PIAA list and Steelton is in the PIAA 2A list but not listed as such on Milesplit. D12 has 2 schools with zero enrollment for 2A girls so with all things considered, I'm seeing 29 D12 schools and 28 in D3. Could be that 28/29 was the dividing line. One way to get around having some noncompetitive entries in states would be to have the SQS be a range of times (or appropriate scoring) such that those finishing in the allocated top qualifying spots would have to meet the lesser end of the standard to still qualify. If they did not, the spots that open up would be given to the top scorers (in order) that did not otherwise qualify. Maybe you could still have the district champions be guaranteed a spot so they would not be totally denied in the event of a sub-par performance due to poor weather conditions. This could be an at-large set of bids. This would better ensure that the maximum number of top qualifiers compete in states and also add another level of competitiveness to the process. Just something to consider.
I was wondering if school population played a part but if you look at the way the rule is worded, it is only based on the number of schools, not how large the schools are.

I know there is no perfect system but if you consider that in District 3, all of the top 8 girls in in the 2A 1600 were faster than the district champion in D12 (the 3200 had a similar result), there are a lot of talented girls from D3 who did not qualify and are done for the season.

Turns out the Milesplit participating schools number has some errors (some schools that should be in AAA for D3) and also some schools are in AAA for either boys or girls. The PIAA website seems to have some issues also (or things that have changed since the list was created). Carson Long competed in D3 AA but was not listed in the PIAA list and Steelton is in the PIAA 2A list but not listed as such on Milesplit.

D12 has 2 schools with zero enrollment for 2A girls so with all things considered, I'm seeing 29 D12 schools and 28 in D3. Could be that 28/29 was the dividing line.

One way to get around having some noncompetitive entries in states would be to have the SQS be a range of times (or appropriate scoring) such that those finishing in the allocated top qualifying spots would have to meet the lesser end of the standard to still qualify. If they did not, the spots that open up would be given to the top scorers (in order) that did not otherwise qualify. Maybe you could still have the district champions be guaranteed a spot so they would not be totally denied in the event of a sub-par performance due to poor weather conditions.

This could be an at-large set of bids. This would better ensure that the maximum number of top qualifiers compete in states and also add another level of competitiveness to the process. Just something to consider.
05/21/2018 2:33:41 PM
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It always comes down to District 12 and occasionally District 8. Every time someone complains about qualifying for a State meet (either Track or Cross), it comes down to District 12. I cannot once in my 12 years of coaching think of an athlete from another District who was denied going to "States" due to the qualifiers from D12. The reality is, the PIAA wants geographic representation and has set up the Districts to ensure it. There's no medalist staying home this week due to other Districts. Sure, some Districts are easier to qualify from for certain races, and others are much more competitive. That said, if a kid isn't going to States, whether from D12 or D2, it's because they didn't either get an auto spot, or finish top-8 in their District. Let's be honest, if you aren't finishing top-8 at your District, you're not finishing top-8 at States, so you're not really being left behind for another District, you just weren't the best the PIAA Districts have to offer. Sorry if this comes off as defensive, but as a coach from the "offending" District, I'm sick of reading complaints about D12 every year.
It always comes down to District 12 and occasionally District 8. Every time someone complains about qualifying for a State meet (either Track or Cross), it comes down to District 12. I cannot once in my 12 years of coaching think of an athlete from another District who was denied going to "States" due to the qualifiers from D12.

The reality is, the PIAA wants geographic representation and has set up the Districts to ensure it. There's no medalist staying home this week due to other Districts. Sure, some Districts are easier to qualify from for certain races, and others are much more competitive. That said, if a kid isn't going to States, whether from D12 or D2, it's because they didn't either get an auto spot, or finish top-8 in their District. Let's be honest, if you aren't finishing top-8 at your District, you're not finishing top-8 at States, so you're not really being left behind for another District, you just weren't the best the PIAA Districts have to offer.

Sorry if this comes off as defensive, but as a coach from the "offending" District, I'm sick of reading complaints about D12 every year.
05/21/2018 4:18:18 PM
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Not sure I understand your point. You don't go to states by finishing top 8 in your district. That only happens if you run a SQS AND finish top 8. Athletes have little to no control over where they live but they do have control over their own work ethic and being the best they can be. They also have no control over a district that just happens to be stacked in a particular event in any given year. For example, in AAA D3 girls, 10 ran a SQS in the 1600 but only 8 will go to states. I'm not saying it has to change, just offering my personal opinion. In track events, it's pretty easy to determine who the best competitors are by using a stopwatch. I'm just saying that if it were up to me, I'd put more weight on that than I would the map.
Not sure I understand your point. You don't go to states by finishing top 8 in your district. That only happens if you run a SQS AND finish top 8. Athletes have little to no control over where they live but they do have control over their own work ethic and being the best they can be. They also have no control over a district that just happens to be stacked in a particular event in any given year. For example, in AAA D3 girls, 10 ran a SQS in the 1600 but only 8 will go to states.

I'm not saying it has to change, just offering my personal opinion. In track events, it's pretty easy to determine who the best competitors are by using a stopwatch. I'm just saying that if it were up to me, I'd put more weight on that than I would the map.
05/22/2018 8:32:28 AM
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@bshsxc nkosiek is only saying the geographic representational aspect of the district system feeding the state meet is the reason they even have the rules the way they are. Seen from that perspective one can look at ways to allocate runners from each district differently but you are always going to have runners from every district at the state meet. Another thing to look at is the 'diamond in the rough' aspect of a runner winning in a very small district with an average time and then they go to the state meet and with better competition they blow out a fantastic PR and surprise people. We've all seen it happen, not often, but it is eye-opening.
@bshsxc nkosiek is only saying the geographic representational aspect of the district system feeding the state meet is the reason they even have the rules the way they are. Seen from that perspective one can look at ways to allocate runners from each district differently but you are always going to have runners from every district at the state meet. Another thing to look at is the 'diamond in the rough' aspect of a runner winning in a very small district with an average time and then they go to the state meet and with better competition they blow out a fantastic PR and surprise people. We've all seen it happen, not often, but it is eye-opening.

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