Athletics in PA

PIAA Districts:

Pennsylvania high school sports are growing in popularity from Philadelphia to Harrisburg to Pittsburgh and to Erie.  Football and basketball are the major sports in the state, as with most states, but sports like soccer, wrestling, lacrosse, rugby, baseball and softball are also extremely competitive and popular.  


A majority of the public, catholic and charter schools are members of the Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association (PIAA), which is divided up into 12 districts across the state.  There up to six classifications in each sport where teams, based on their enrollment, will compete for a state championship.  Once league playoffs are complete, district playoffs then commence to determine which teams will be entered into the state tournament bracket.  Schools are then randomly matched up against each other and battle it out for the state title.


Many private schools across the state compete in the Pennsylvania Independent Schools Athletic Association (PAISAA).  Those schools in PAISAA play within their own league, or create their own schedule if they are independent, and then are seeded accordingly in their respective sports playoff bracket.  Then the selected teams will compete for the PAISAA state title.


All in all, PIAA sponsors 20 sports, while PAISAA supports 11.  Ranging from the popular sports all the way down to minor sports such as bowling, water polo and golf.  It's an exciting time to be a part of Pennsylvania high school sports!

Pennsylvania Interscholastic
Athletic Association (PIAA)

"PIAA is a Pennsylvania non-profit corporation organized on a membership basis. All of its members are schools. They include almost all of the public and many of the private junior high/middle schools and senior high schools in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Generally stated, the purpose and function of PIAA is to develop and enforce rules, which are authorized or adopted by the member schools, regulating interscholastic athletic competition."

For more information about the PIAA, go to

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