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Taking a first look at PIAA soccer realignment for 2020-21

Photo credit: Jared Todhunter

Taking a first look at PIAA soccer realignment for 2020-21

The Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association (PIAA) recently released its classification realignment by sport — including for both boys and girls soccer.

In addition to the PIAA classification reports being available, the WPIAL (District 7) will announce the specific realigned sections for both boys and girls soccer on Monday.  Look for an additional post from Pittsburgh Soccer Now with more specific section breakdowns.

Since schools are classified by specific enrollment figures, there will be a few instances again where some schools may be in one classification in girls soccer, and yet another in boys soccer.

In the meantime, below are the direct links to PIAA realignment for both boys and girls soccer for the 2020 and 2021 fall soccer seasons.

PIAA Girls Soccer Classification Report (2020-21) 
PIAA Boys Soccer Classification Report (2020-21) 

BOYS

In the WPIAL, there is some movement on the boys side.

Down from 4A to 3A will include Plum (Section 3 champions in 2019), Woodland Hills and Penn Hills. While Connellsville’s girls (see below) will move down, the boys remain in 4A.  Class 3A also adds Central Valley coming up from Class 2A, while Ambridge drops down to 2A.  At the Class 2A/1A line, only change appears to be Mohawk moving up to 2A, while Beth-Center moves down to 1A.

Here are the enrollment parameters for each classification plus total number of WPIAL schools for 2020-21 along with the projected difference in each classification from 2018-19): 

  • Class 4A:
    • Enrollment parameters: 465 & up
    • 21 WPIAL/PPS schools
    • Change: -3 from 2018-19 
  • Class 3A:
    • Enrollment parameters: 268-464
    • 33 WPIAL/PPS schools
    • Change: +4 from 2018-19
  • Class 2A:
    • Enrollment parameters: 165-267
    • 27 WPIAL schools:
    • Change: -1 from 2018-19
  • Class 1A:
    • Enrollment parameters: 1-164
    • (30 WPIAL schools
    • Change: +2 from 2018-19

GIRLS

Among the girls schools moving classifications include three schools moving from 4A to 3A including: Connellsville, Penn Hills and Brashear.

The most movement though will come with four additions to Class 2A, where in the past four years, have only had three sections. Three schools (Elizabeth Forward, West Mifflin and Ambridge) will move down from Class 3A to 2A. Another significant switch will see Shady Side Academy, which reached the PIAA final in 2019, jump from 1A to 2A. Shady Side has competed in girls soccer in Class 1A since 2010.

Other than the Shady Side and also McGuffey moving up to 2A, Steel Valley’s girls program will move from 2A to 1A.

Here are the Girls classification set up by enrollment plus total number of WPIAL schools for 2020-21 along with the projected difference from 2018-19).

  • 4A: 
    • Enrollment parameters: 443 & up
    • 19 WPIAL/PPS schools
    • Change: -3 from 2018-19)
  • 3A
    • Enrollment parameters: 265-443
    • 30 WPIAL/PPS schools
    • Change: -1 from 2018-19
  • 2A:
    • Enrollment parameters: 164-264
    • 26 WPIAL schools:
    • Change: +4 from 2018-19
  • 1A:
    • Enrollment parameters: 1-163
    • 27 WPIAL schools
    • Change: -2 from 2018-19

We’ll see a drop in the number of teams in 4A from 22 (in 2018-19) to 19. Class 3A will have a total of 30 schools (includes three Pittsburgh Public Schools: Carrick, Brashear and Obama Academy), still down one from 2018-19, when 31 schools were in 3A.

John Krysinsky has covered soccer and other sports for many years for various publications and media outlets. He is also author of 'Miracle on the Mon' -- a book about the Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC, which chronicles the club, particularly the early years of Highmark Stadium with the narrative leading up to and centered around a remarkable match that helped provide a spark for the franchise. John has covered sports for Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, DK Pittsburgh Sports, Pittsburgh Sports Report, has served as color commentator on Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC broadcasts, and worked with OPTA Stats and broadcast teams for US Open Cup and International Champions Cup matches held in the US. 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).

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