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PIAA Soccer To Expand To 4 Classifications

Charleroi girls soccer will now move up from Class A, where they were WPIAL (District 7) runner-up in 2015, to Class AA beginning in 2016.

While much of the rage and media attention was drawn to football (along with basketball and baseball) moving to six classifications in Pennsylvania High School Sports, it was finally formally announced that soccer will also be expanding to four classifications beginning in 2016.
The biggest thing that this will likely do for soccer in the WPIAL will be to break up the massive batch of teams that were in Class AA in recent years.  Class AA had to have six sections, while Class AAA and A went with five each.  Now, things should be divided a bit more evenly.
Here’s the classification reports for both boys and girls.
The largest school in the WPIAL in both boys and girls was “The U” — aka North Allegheny(1071 boys, 950 girls).  The smallest in girls was Quigley Catholic (45) and boys was Beaver County Christian Academy (26).
The classifications are broken down by enrollment — and to see where the cut off was here are some highlights:
BOYS– Kiski Area High School (474 boys) was the last WPIAL (District 7) team in the new Class AAAA, while Armstrong (462) and Moon (461) previously in the highest class now are Class AAA schools.   South Fayette boys, who won the WPIAL Class AA title in 2015, will be the last team in the new Class AAA, while South Side (Beaver), Waynesburg and Elizabeth Forward will stay in Class AA.   There are not many changes between Classes AA and A as there were before.  The cut-off remains very similiar, with Washington remaining the smallest Class AA school, while Our Lady of the Sacred Heart (OLSH) is the largest Class A school in the WPIAL for boys soccer.
GIRLS — With girls, the differences are subtle.  Plum’s the smallest Class AAAA school remaining, while Franklin Regional will drop down to Class AAA (where they were previously in the highest classification – AAA.  But F-R’s boys will remain in AAAA).   Mt. Pleasant and Central Valley will be the smallest Class AAA girls schools, while Yough and Highlands will be the largest Class AA girls soccer teams.   East Allegheny and South Allegheny will both remain in Class AA with the smallest enrollments, while Riverside, Shady Side Academy and Vincentian Academy will have the higher enrollments among the Class A girls programs.
John Krysinsky

John Krysinsky has covered soccer and other sports for many years for various publications and media outlets including Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, DK Pittsburgh Sports, Pittsburgh Sports Report, and more. Krysinsky also served as the Head Men’s Soccer Coach at his alma mater, Point Park University, where he led the Pioneers to the first-ever winning seasons and playoff berths (1996-98); head coach of North Catholic boys (2007-08), associate head coach of Shady Side Academy boys (2009-2014).

View Comments

  • With the realignment, four teams from a section make the playoffs. How are they ranked (percentage or points) and what if there is a tie?

    • And sorry (i jumped into playoff seeding) if I wasn't clear specifically about section placement/ranking. The Section order is usually determined by the following criteria if there are any ties between teams:
      1. Head to head
      2. Goal Differential (up to 4 goals but no more per game)
      3. Goals Scored (up to 4 goals per game but no more)

    • Good Questions Don. In the past, the WPIAL playoff seeding committee has handled the seeding process arbitrarily. It's is not done based on a system of points/records, etc. To compare, basically, it's like the NCAA Basketball selection committee seeding the teams based on a number of factors. Last year we saw the worst of this -- when a section champ in Class AAA boys, Allderdice, were seeded to play at Peters Township (a third place team in their section). After the seeding came out, there was enough of an outcry and public criticism of the system, that the WPIAL actually changed it and awarded Allderdice a home game at Cupples Stadium.

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