Big changes coming to District 1 AAA post-season in 2018-19
by Mike Leister, PA-Wrestling.com
Posted on November 10, 2017
The PIAA District 1 committee recently approved some drastic changes to the wrestling post-season structure starting in the 2018-19 season. For the first time ever in District 1's history, the AAA teams will compete over two weekends prior to the state championships, instead of three.
Beginning with the 2019 post-season, the 62 District 1 AAA schools will be divided into four sections based on geography. Each section tournament will feature 15 or 16 teams with full wrestlebacks over two days (Friday evening and all day Saturday). The top four placers from each section will advance to the South East AAA regional tournament to create a 16-man regional bracket. The regional tournament will also be held over two days, like it is now.
The section tournaments will take place a week later than the current league tournaments, which will mean the post-season starts a week later than what District 1 has historically had.
This is a big change for District 1 AAA wrestling.
When the PIAA created two divisions for wrestling starting with the 1974 post-season, District 1 had six sectional tournaments in AAA (for the larger schools). Those six sections fed into two or three so-called "split District" tournaments and then the South East AAA regional. Most years had two District tournaments with a brief experiment to three Districts from 2007 to 2009.
That model underwent major changes for the 2013 post-season, when the sections were replaced with seven league tournaments. Those leagues fed into three "split District" tournaments before getting to the South East AAA regional. That structure will be used in 2018 for the last time.
After the upcoming 2018 post-season, the post-season journey will be a bit shorter with just the two weekends of action before states.
The change was made for a few reasons as some leagues weren't too interested to keep up their tournaments, especially as a post-season qualifier. Under the new plan, leagues can still hold their own league tournaments which can be held anytime during the season and do not count towards competition points.
Other reasons for the change included a desire to give teams and wrestlers a break prior to the grueling post-season schedule and also to limit some of the many rematches that take place over three consecutive weeks in the current structure.
The District 1 wrestling steering committee (made up of wrestling coaches from all District 1 leagues) came up with the proposal for the changes over the summer and then presented it to the full District 1 committee (made up of principals and athletic directors) at their October meeting. A vote was held at the District 1 committee's November meeting where the plan was unanimously approved for the 2018-19 season.
The AA post-season will likely remain the same with a District tournament combining Districts 1 and 12 followed by the South East AA regional, where Districts 1 and 12 are joined by Districts 3 and 11.
Barring any drastic changes to the classifications for the 2018-19 and 2019-20 seasons (due out this December), the four section breakdown in AAA will be as follows:
Boyertown Conestoga Great Valley Methacton Norristown Owen J. Roberts Perkiomen Valley Phoenixville Pope John Paul II Pottsgrove Pottstown Souderton Spring-Ford Upper Merion Upper Perkiomen
Academy Park Cheltenham Harriton Haverford High Interboro Lower Merion Marple Newtown Penn Wood Plymouth Whitemarsh Radnor Ridley Springfield Delco Strath Haven Upper Darby Upper Dublin Wissahickon
Avon Grove Chichester Coatesville Downingtown East Downingtown West Garnet Valley Glen Mills Kennett Oxford Area Penncrest Sun Valley Unionville West Chester East West Chester Henderson West Chester Rustin
Abington Bensalem Central Bucks East Central Bucks South Central Bucks West Council Rock North Council Rock South Harry S. Truman Hatboro Horsham Neshaminy North Penn Pennridge Pennsbury Quakertown Upper Moreland William Tennent