District 1 wrestling post-season plan created for 2021

by Mike Leister, PA-Wrestling.com

Posted on January 14, 2021

Due to the ongoing COVID-19 global pandemic, the 2021 scholastic wrestling season in PA has been significantly altered. While the regular season has just gotten underway for some of the schools in District 1, planning has been underway for the last few months for how the adjusted post-season will play out.

In December, the PIAA unveiled their plans for a scaled back post-season for both individual tournaments and the state duals. The state duals, featuring only District champions for both AA and AAA, have now been pushed back until after the individual state tournament though no official date has been set.

The recommendation from the PIAA for the individual tournaments was to go to single-day events only with a max bracket size of 8 wrestlers per weight to minimize the time it takes to run each tournament. That suggestion really makes the District 1 post-season a challenge, especially in AAA with 60+ schools.

Individual Post-Season
After much discussion, the District 1 Wrestling Steering Committee's proposal to District 1 was to go with two section tournaments in AAA featuring 12-man brackets with the pigtail round losers being eliminated and the top four in each weight advancing to the South East AAA regional. The regional would be an 8-man bracket, with the top four advancing to the new East Super Regional to face the top four from the North East regional. That region has teams from Districts 2, 11, and 12. The top four from there would advance to an 8-man bracket state tournament, with all wrestlers there earning a state medal.

District 1 accepted this proposal on Wednesday, January 13th. These changes are only in effect for the 2021 season.

For AAA teams in District 1, they will be divided up into the North and South tournaments. The alignments will not be finalized until early February once schools have determined if they will be participating in the post-season or not. Currently the alignment (listed below) has 31 teams in the North and 30 in the South. If or when schools chose to not participate (and some already have stated they don't plan to wrestle this season), the alignments will be altered to keep them balanced.

These two tournaments will take place on Saturday, February 20th at two locations, which are still to be determined. The schedule for the tournaments is also still to be determined, and will most likely depend on how many mats will be used.

Since there most likely will be more than 12 schools participating in each tournament, wrestlers will have to qualify to participate. The seeding process is still being determined by the steering committee. But it's expected that schools will be able to submit their wrestlers for consideration, and then the seeding process will pick the top 12 per weight in each tournament.

As for the rest of the post-season schedule, the South East AAA regional tournament will take place on Saturday, February 27th. The East Super Regional will be on Saturday, March 6th, while the AAA state tournament is slated for Saturday, March 13th.

The AA post-season in District 1 is up in the air at the moment and will depend on how many schools decide to wrestle this season. Based on the PIAA's plan, two wrestlers per weight class are set to qualify from a combined District 1/12 AA tournament to the South East AA regional.

Team Post-Season
As for the District 1 Duals, the committee proposed having a field of only 4 AAA teams with the semifinals and championship held on a single day at a single location. There would be no third place match as only the champion would advance to state duals. AA again would depend on the number of participating schools. However, District 1 tabled voting on that plan and will revisit the plan in February after more is known about the PIAA's plan for state duals.

District 1 AAA NorthDistrict 1 AAA South
Central Bucks East
Central Bucks South
Central Bucks West
Council Rock North
Council Rock South
Harry S. Truman
Lower Merion
Lower Moreland
North Penn
Perkiomen Valley
Plymouth Whitemarsh
Upper Dublin
Upper Merion
Upper Moreland
Upper Perkiomen
William Tennent
Academy Park
Avon Grove
Dowingtown East
Dowingtown West
Garnet Valley
Great Valley
Marple Newtown
Owen J. Roberts
Penn Wood
Springfield Delco
Strath Haven
Sun Valley
Upper Darby
West Chester East
West Chester Henderson
West Chester Rustin

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