The PIAA has taken up the issue of competitive balance in sports in the state of Pennsylvania, and this week the organization made a big decision, banning athletic transfers after tenth grade from postseason competition.
The PIAA outlined some of the measures it took at its Wednesday board of directors meeting via a press release. The most notable of the actions taken is the postseason ban for transfers, which states that any athlete transferring schools "after completing their tenth grade sport season" will be ineligible for the postseason for one year.
For cross country and track and field athletes, this would mean those transfers could not compete in district and state meet competition for the ensuing season after transferring. The provision will go into effect on August 6.
Included in the provision is a hardship waiver for select cases. Delco Times' Matthew De George, in his story on the matter, wrote this includes "change of employment, school- or court-administered transfer, military reassignment or a "demonstrable change in income or other financial resources that compels withdrawal from a private school."
For basketball and football, sports the PIAA says are most affected by athletic transfers, there will also be a "Competitive Classification formula" with a success factor implemented. In theory, the formula would combine enrollment numbers, postseason success, and number of transfers obtained. This part, however, is still in preliminary talks. Cross country and track and field were not included in this decision.
The PIAA's "Competition Committee" was formed 15 months ago to address issues of competitive balance, as well as the ongoing public vs. private school debate. This is likely the first of many forthcoming decisions on the matter.
Additionally on Wednesday, the PIAA accepted the recommendations of the PIAA Track And Field Steering Committee. This included a rule that will eliminate the Pole Vault Coaches Box at the PIAA State Championships. See the full list in the PIAA's meeting summary at point No. 17.