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New WPIAL Postseason Format Includes Football Committee




The WPIAL will implement a new wildcard format for its postseason play starting next season.

Instead of using a Gardner Points formula to break ties, as the WPIAL has done in the past, it will use a football committee to choose at-large teams, Chris Harlan of the Tribune-Review reported. Five of the six WPIAL divisions will now have wild cards.

Class 6A will remain the same, with four postseason qualifiers, but classes 1A through 5A will now feature wildcard teams.

Class 1A will have 16 postseason qualifiers, the top three in each division and four wildcards. Class 2A will have 13 postseason qualifiers, the top in each division and four wildcards. Class 3A will have 12 qualifiers, the top three in each division and three wildcards. Class 4A will have eight qualifiers, the top two in each conference and two wildcards. And Class 5A will have 12 qualifiers, the top three in each division and three wildcards.

Harlan further reported that the previous WPIAL postseason format came under fire last fall when Upper St. Clair missed the playoffs despite an 8-2 overall record, missing out due to the previous tie-breaking formulas. Moon and Bethel Park, who finished 6-6 and 4-7, respectively, qualified over USC.

There’s no word on who will comprise the football committee or how it will be formed at this point in time, but that will be decided before the season kicks off this fall.

The WPIAL is coming off a season in which Fort Cherry knocked off South Side in the 1A title game, Beaver Falls defeated Steel Valley in the 2A title, Belle Vernon claimed another 3A title over Avonworth, Aliquippa moved up and won a 4A title against McKeesport, Peters Township dethroned Pine-Richland in 5A and North Allegheny redeemed itself against Central Catholic in 6A.

Sandy Schall, Coldwell Banker
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