Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Realignment Forces Changes in Top Classes

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Realignment Forces Changes in Top Classes

Article excerpt

The landscape of WPIAL football will look drastically different next season as the number of conferences in Class AAA and AAAA will shrink.

The WPIAL Board of Control approved a new football conference alignment, playoff format and scheduling format Tuesday for the 2012 and '13 seasons. All changes were proposed by the WPIAL football steering committee.

The biggest changes for the next two seasons are:

* Class AAAA and AAA will have only three conferences instead of four. All Class AAAA and AAA conferences will have nine teams, except one AAAA conference that will have eight.

* Woodland Hills, Penn Hills and Plum will move to a Class AAAA conference with teams mostly from the South Hills area, including Mt. Lebanon, Upper St. Clair and Bethel Park. Also, Central Catholic and Fox Chapel will move to a conference with teams in the northern suburbs, including North Allegheny, Seneca Valley and North Hills.

* The Class AAAA and AAA playoff fields will continue to have 16 teams in each. Five teams from each conference will make the playoffs, plus one "wild-card" team in each classification. In the past, four teams from each conference made the playoffs.

* Class AA and A will continue to have four teams from each conference make the playoffs.

* The WPIAL will schedule all games in the regular season for all teams, including the season opener, with the exception of one Class A conference, where teams will have to find one game in the season. In the past, most WPIAL teams scheduled their own opener (a non- conference game) and the WPIAL scheduled the rest of the games.

WPIAL executive director Tim O'Malley said there were a few reasons for the major changes. First, the majority of Class AAAA athletic directors and principals got together and informed the WPIAL that it would rather have three conferences instead of four because Class AAAA had 26 teams. …

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