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Posted Saturday, April 11, 2009 by Ed Dalton

WPIAL officials aren't enthralled with the PIAA's idea of having six classifications for football, starting in 2010.

Now the WPIAL wants to know how its member schools feel about the six-class concept.

The league will have two meetings next week for representatives of WPIAL schools. The Wednesday night meeting is at Elizabeth Forward and the Thursday night meeting at North Allegheny.

The meetings not only are to inform the schools about the six-classification ramifications, but also to get the schools' feelings on the idea.

Pennsylvania has only four classes for football now. If football goes to six classes, the WPIAL would no longer be able to play all of its championship games at Heinz Field. Some WPIAL coaches and principals have suggested the WPIAL should not participate in the PIAA playoffs if the six-class idea is passed.

"That is not our intent, not to participate [in the PIAA playoffs]," WPIAL executive director Tim O'Malley said. "But that issue has been advanced by some people, and we need to react to the fact that issue has been brought up."

The WPIAL also plans to give each school representative a questionnaire, asking for their feelings on what the league should do if six classes become reality.

The six-class idea already has passed two readings of the PIAA Board of Control. It must pass a third and final reading in May. A two-thirds majority is needed on the final vote. If passed, it would have a huge impact on Pennsylvania high school football, especially the WPIAL. For example, the WPIAL would have only 11 teams in the 6A classification.

"The purpose of these meetings are to make sure the schools are factually aware of what has been proposed and passed so far," O'Malley said. "But also to get some feedback from them as to what their position might be."

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