(6-12-19) Pennsylvania Republican State Representative Aaron Bernstine introduced a bill, Parity in Interscholastic Athletics Act (HB 1600), on Tuesday to the Pennsylvania State Legislature which would separate state championship tournaments in eight sports in the Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association.

The bill would split PIAA postseason tournaments for football, baseball, softball, basketball, soccer and girls volleyball.

Rep. Aaron Bernstine

Bernstine said in a release-

“This is the first time in 40 years that both sides have sat down in a non-adversarial setting to resolve these challenges and to understand each other’s goals. At the end of the day, everyone was focused on making sure the end result was in the best interest of the students both athletically and academically.”

Bernstine’s proposal would  also include:

  • Eliminate the transfer rule, making a student immediately eligible after transferring schools if they meet all other eligibility standards. Restrict in-season transfer eligibility with exceptions granted for certain extenuating circumstances.
  • Disqualify a team for PIAA playoffs if it forfeits two or more regular-season games in one season.
  • Allow for separate playoff brackets to be used in additional team sports if there are at least 50 public and 50 nonpublic schools participating in the sport.
  • Increase fairness in the PIAA’s district committees to ensure each district accurately reflects the makeup of schools in that given area.

Eric Falling, the Executive Director of the Pennsylvania Catholic Conference

“This is a big change and we’ve worked very hard together. Change can be scary. I think we’ve made a lot of very positive steps in this bill. I think at the end of the day people are going to be happy with the work we’ve done in our partnership.”

If passed this bill will take effect 60 days after its approval in the state legislature.  The bill has the support of the Pennsylvania Catholic Conference (PCC) and Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association (PIAA).

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