HARRISBURG, Pa.– District 10 State Rep. Aaron Berstine (R- Lawrence County) wants to see public and high school athletic teams have separate playoff tournaments.
Bernstine announced his sponsorship of proposed legilsation, House Bill 1600 also known asthe Parity in Interscholastic Athletics Act, to do that during a news conference on this week in Harrisburg.
The proposal calls for the Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association to create and manage separate state playoff tournaments for public and private schools, but create a crossover matchup for the public and private school champs to decide who gets the state champion titles in each sport.
“At the very end the one bracket of the public schools and the other bracket of the private schools would come together, and they will play, call it a Super Bowl, or final championship game,” Bernstine said.
The separate tournaments would be held only in football, baseball, softball, girls and boys basketball, girls and boys volleyball, and girls and boys soccer.
“House Bill 1600 will bring fairness to all student-athletes across the Commonwealth. We are honored to work with our nonpublic school partners and Rep. Bernstine to improve the scholastic environment for all of our students,” said Leonard Rich, state co-coordinator of the Pennsylvania Athletic Equity Steering Committee.
In addition to separate playoff brackets, House Bill 1600 would also make the following changes:
- Eliminate the transfer rule, making a student immediately eligible to play after transferring schools if he or she meets all other eligibility standards. In-season transfer eligibility would be restricted 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 schools 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.