Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association

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Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association
PIAA newlogo.png
Map of USA highlighting Pennsylvania.png
Abbreviation PIAA
Formation December 29, 1913
Type Volunteer; NPO
Legal status Association
Purpose Athletic/Educational
Headquarters 550 Gettysburg Rd.
Mechanicsburg, PA 17055
Region served
1,452 schools
Official language
Executive Director
Robert Lombardi
Affiliations National Federation of State High School Associations
Remarks (717) 697-0374

The Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association, Inc. (PIAA) is one of the governing bodies of high school and junior high school sports for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, United States.

PIAA member schools are known for some of the most highly regarded and competitive high school sports programs in the U.S.[citation needed] The state's lacrosse, football, field hockey, swimming & diving, wrestling, cross country, and basketball programs are generally considered among the best in the U.S.[citation needed]

The PIAA main office is located in the Harrisburg suburb of Mechanicsburg.


The old PIAA logo

Beginning in Pittsburgh, on December 29, 1913, the PIAA was charged with serving its member schools and registered officials by establishing policies and adopting contest rules that emphasize the educational values of interscholastic athletics, promote safe and sportsmanlike competition, and provide uniform standards for all interscholastic levels of competition.

As a result of the cooperative efforts of its membership, PIAA has assisted intermediate school, middle school, junior high school, and senior high school students in participating in interscholastic athletic programs on a fair and equitable basis, thus producing important education benefits.


The PIAA divides its member schools' counties into 12 geographical districts for the purpose of state championship competition. The following list is the district breakdown by county.

While this is a general outline of the districts, there are some notable exceptions:

East vs. West[edit]

Traditionally for state championship competition for team sports, Pennsylvania is divided into Eastern and Western regions. Districts 1, 2, 3, 4, 11, and 12 usually make up the Eastern Region; Districts 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10 usually comprise the Western Region. The winners of each region compete against each other for the state championship. However, since the creation of District 12 with the admission of the Philadelphia Public Schools into the PIAA, the East vs. West format has been abandoned for some sports in certain classifications, particularly at the Class AAAA level where there are more large schools in the East. For example, in PIAA football, District 3 schools compete in the early rounds of the state playoffs against Philadelphia schools in some classes, and against Pittsburgh schools in others.


The PIAA sponsors 16 boys' sports and 16 girls' sports. However, the PIAA only sponsors state championships for 12 boys' sports and 11 girls' sports. The following is a list of PIAA sponsored sports championships.

There are Pennsylvania schools that offer sports not fully sponsored by the PIAA such as gymnastics, ice hockey, bowling, rifle, water polo and other Olympic sports. These sports are governed by other sport specific bodies that use similar PIAA rules for classification and eligibility, but are not officially recognized as state champions by the PIAA. The PIAA took over jurisdiction of both boys' and girls' lacrosse in July 2008.

School classifications[edit]

Every two years, the PIAA divides the member schools into either two, three, or four different classifications for each sport, depending on the number of male or female students enrolled in each school.

The number of statewide member schools participating in a particular sport will determine how many different classifications there will be. For example, boys' volleyball, the sport with the smallest number of participating schools, only has a AA or AAA classification. By comparison, boys' basketball, which has the largest number of participating schools, has A, AA, AAA and AAAA classifications. The number of A's signify how large or small the school is; Class A is the smallest classification, while AAAA is the largest. The PIAA tries to place an equal number of schools in each classification.

Because the PIAA determines classifications separately for each sex in each sport, it is possible that a coeducational school may find its boys' and girls' teams in different classes in the same sport. Smaller schools can choose to compete at a higher classification—possible reasons are to maintain existing rivalries, or in rare cases to place their boys' and girls' teams in the same class—but larger schools can not choose to compete at a lower classification level. For purposes of all-star games and awards, the A and AA classes are referred to as "small schools", while AAA and AAAA are referred to as "big schools." In recent years, there has been a running debate over the possibility of splitting the football tournament into five or six classifications, instead of the current four. The PIAA made the decision to expand to six classes in Football, as well as Boys & Girls basketball, baseball and softball. Increasing to four classes is Boys & Girls Soccer, Girls volleyball. Field Hockey is expanded to three classes, and Boys & Girls Lacrosse to two. Football will use the classes starting with the 2016 season.[1]

Hershey, Pennsylvania[edit]

While some sports' championship games have been held at various venues and cities across the state, no city is more associated with the PIAA than Hershey. Hershey's proximity to Harrisburg, as well as easy highway access via the Pennsylvania Turnpike and Interstates 81 and 83 for teams from across the state makes it an ideal location for the games. Hersheypark Stadium hosts the football and soccer championships; the Parkview Cross Country Course, located across the street from Hershey Park and Chocolate World, hosts the Cross Country Championships.[2] Giant Center hosts wrestling, and the Hershey Racquet Club hosts the tennis championships.

In 2006, the PIAA announced that they had refused Hershey's application for a contract extension to host the basketball championships at Giant Center. Starting for the 2006–2007 season, the eight championship games will be played at Penn State's Bryce Jordan Center. The PIAA cited monetary reasons for the move. As of 2014 they had returned to the Giant Center.

Even the non-PIAA sport of ice hockey hosted the 2005 Pennsylvania Cup championship at the historic Hersheypark Arena. The PIAA football championships have been contested since 1988, with the first games being held at various sites across the state. In the early 1990s, the game was moved to Altoona's Mansion Park, in part because playing four games in two days would not affect the artificial turf playing surface on the field. The football championships were moved to Hershey in the late 1990s to add to the tradition of PIAA championship competition near the state capital.

State College hosts the baseball and softball championships at Pennsylvania State University.[3] Altoona previously hosted the baseball championships at Peoples Natural Gas Field, home of the Altoona Curve of the Class AA Eastern League. The track and field championships are contested at Seth Grove Stadium on the campus of Shippensburg University, 40 miles southwest of Harrisburg.

Championship sites[edit]


Sport Facility Location Gender(s) Classifications
Cross Country Parkview Cross Country Course Hershey Boys & Girls A, AA, AAA
Golf Heritage Hills Golf Resort York Boys & Girls AA, AAA
Field Hockey Whitehall High School Whitehall Girls AA, AAA
Football Hersheypark Stadium Hershey Boys A, AA, AAA, AAAA
Soccer Hersheypark Stadium Hershey Boys & Girls A, AA, AAA
Tennis Hershey Racquet Club Hershey Girls AA, AAA
Volleyball Richland Senior High School Richland Girls A, AA, AAA


Sport Facility Location Gender(s) Classifications
Baseball Medlar Field at Lubrano Park State College Boys A, AA, AAA, AAAA
Basketball Giant Center Hershey Boys & Girls A, AA, AAA, AAAA
Competitive Spirit Giant Center Hershey Boys & Girls Small, Medium, Large or Coed
Lacrosse Hersheypark Stadium Hershey Boys & Girls
Soccer Hersheypark Stadium Hershey Girls AA, AAA
Softball Nittany Lion Softball Park State College Girls A, AA, AAA, AAAA
Swimming & Diving Kinney Natatorium Lewisburg Boys & Girls AA, AAA
Tennis Hershey Racquet Club Hershey Boys AA, AAA
Track & Field Seth Grove Stadium Shippensburg Boys & Girls A, AA, AAA
Volleyball Recreation Building State College Boys AA, AAA
Wrestling Giant Center Hershey Boys AA, AAA

Recent champions[edit]


Class AAAA:

Class AAA:

Class AA:

Class A:

  • 2015: Bishop Guilfoyle (District 6) over Farrell High School 35-0
  • 2014: Bishop Guilfoyle (District 6) over Clairton (District 7) 19-18
  • 2013: North Catholic (District 7) over Old Forge (District 2) 15-14 (OT)
  • 2012: Clairton (District 7) over Dunmore (District 2) 20-0
  • 2011: Clairton (District 7) over Southern Columbia (District 4) 35-19
  • 2010: Clairton (District 7) over Riverside (District 2) 36-30
  • 2009: Clairton (District 7) over Bishop McCort (District 6) 15-3
  • 2008: Steelton-Highspire (District 3) over Clairton (District 7) 35-16
  • 2007: Steelton-Highspire (District 3) over Serra Catholic (District 7) 34-15
  • 2006: Southern Columbia (District 4) over West Middlesex (District 10) 56-14
  • 2005: Southern Columbia (District 4) over Duquense (District 7) 50-19
  • 2004: Southern Columbia (District 4) over Rochester (District 7) 35-0
  • 2003: Southern Columbia (District 4) over Archbishop Carroll (District 12) 49-20
  • 2002: Southern Columbia (District 4) over Rochester (District 7) 31-6
  • 2001: Rochester (District 7) over Southern Columbia (District 4) 16-0
  • 2000: Rochester (District 7) over Southern Columbia (District 4) 22-14

Boys' basketball[edit]

Class AAAA:

  • 2014: New Castle (District 7) over LaSalle College (District 12) 52-39
  • 2013: Lower Merion (District 1) over Chester (District 1) 63-47
  • 2012: Chester (District 1) over Lower Merion (District 1) 59-33
  • 2011: Chester (District 1) over Mount Lebanon (District 7) 72-60 (OT)
  • 2010: Plymouth-Whitemarsh (District 1) over Penn Wood (District 1) 58-51
  • 2009: Penn Wood (District 1) over William Penn (District 12) 72-53
  • 2008: Chester (District 1) over Norristown (District 1) 81-77
  • 2007: Schenley (District 8) over Chester (District 1) 78-71
  • 2006: Lower Merion (District 1) over Schenley (District 8) 60-58
  • 2005: Chester (District 1) over Lower Merion (District 1) 74-61
  • 2004: Penn Hills (District 7) over Parkland (District 11) 57-48
  • 2003: State College (District 6) over Chester (District 1) 76-71
  • 2002: Harrisburg (District 3) over Uniontown (District 7) 69-62
  • 2001: Coatesville (District 1) over Schenley (District 8) 70-57
  • 2000: Chester (District 1) over Uniontown (District 7) 73-48

Class AAA:

Class AA:

  • 2014: Constitution (District 12) over Seton-La Salle (District 7) 61-59
  • 2013: Beaver Falls (District 7) over Holy Cross (District 2) 69-63
  • 2012: Imhotep Charter (District 12) over Beaver Falls (District 7) 56-54
  • 2011: Imhotep Charter (District 12) over Greensburg Central Catholic 67-34
  • 2010: South Fayette (District 7) over Strawberry Mansion (District 12) 49-47
  • 2009: Imhotep Charter (District 12) over North Catholic (District 7) 75-67 (2OT)
  • 2008: Jeannette (District 7) over Strawberry Mansion (District 12) 76-72
  • 2007: Prep Charter (District 12) over Aliquippa (District 7) 68-66
  • 2006: Prep Charter (District 12) over Beaver Falls (District 7) 82-51
  • 2005: Beaver Falls (District 7) over York Catholic (District 3) 71-59
  • 2004: Sto-Rox (District 7) over Trinity Catholic (District 3) 62-53
  • 2003: Trinity Catholic (District 3) over Sto-Rox (District 7) 66-49
  • 2002: Bishop Hannan (District 2) over Sto-Rox (District 7) 70-68
  • 2001: Trinity Catholic (District 3) over Aliquippa (District 7) 79-65
  • 2000: Shady Side Academy (District 7) over Halifax (District 3) 79-65

Class A:

  • 2014: Lincoln Park Charter (District 7) over MCS Charter (District 12) 70-66
  • 2013: Vaux (District 12) over Johnsonburg (District 9) 83-63
  • 2012: Constitution (District 12) over Lincoln Park Charter (District 7) 68-46
  • 2011: MCS Charter (District 12) over Lincoln Park Charter (District 7) 70-55
  • 2010: Sewickley Academy (District 7) over Reading Central Catholic (District 3) 43-35
  • 2009: Girard College (District 12) over Kennedy Catholic (District 10) 80-70
  • 2008: Serra Catholic (District 7) over Friere Charter (District 12) 67-66
  • 2007: Reading Central Catholic (District 3) over DuBois Central Catholic (District 9) 58-33
  • 2006: Elk County Catholic (District 9) over Bishop Hannan (District 2) 71-61
  • 2005: Bishop O'Reilly (District 2) over Kennedy Catholic (District 10) 65-61
  • 2004: Bishop O'Reilly (District 2) over Sewickley Academy (District 7) 70-54
  • 2003: Scotland School (District 3) over Union Area (District 7) 80-59
  • 2002: Scotland School (District 3) over Kennedy Catholic (District 10) 69-50
  • 2001: Kennedy Catholic (District 10) over Fairfield (District 3) 87-45
  • 2000: Kennedy Catholic (District 10) over Bishop Hannan (District 2) 64-57 (OT)

See also[edit]


External links[edit]