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The Reading High boys' basketball team won its first state championship Saturday night, holding off Pine-Richland, 64-60, at Giant Center in Hershey March 25, 2017. Jim Seip, GameTimePA.com

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The state basketball playoffs just crowned champions in 12 classifications (six boys, six girls). And as usual, as least one state champion was not a district champion. This year it was two: The 6A boys' champion was seeded third, and the 6A girls' champion was seeded sixth. How can a non-district champion become state champion? Follow the money.

For a little background, Pennsylvania is divided into 12 districts for high school athletics. In theory, only district champions compete to be state champion: The 12 district champions would qualify for the state tournament. Theory is not reality.

Basketball, soccer and other team sports have upwards of 32 teams competing in their sports’ respective classification in their state tournament. This means that, depending on the sport and district, placing anywhere between second and 11th in your district tournament can earn you a spot in the state tournament.

So in order to determine who is that second- or 11th-place team, the district must play additional games. More games translates to more money.

Rename the PIAA to reflect what it really is: the PPAA (PA Participation Athletic Association) or the NEPAA (Nearly Everyone Participates Athletic Association).

So how many additional games? For District 3 basketball alone, an extra 25 games on the boys' side and 19 on the girls' side were played in order to sort out the hierarchy of the district's PIAA qualifiers.

That's 44 extra games played in one district. With there being 11 other districts, imagine how may total extra games were played across the state to determine the 32 for each boys' and girls' classification.

As for the state tournament itself, a little math is needed. If the state tournament included only the 12 district champions, it would take 11 games (single elimination) to crown the winner in each classification. Multiply those 11 games by the 12 total classifications, and there would be a total of 132 state tournament games.

Instead, the PIAA tournaments include 32 teams per classification and therefore must play 31 games to determine each state champion. That equates to a total of 372 state tournament games.

Rename the PIAA to reflect what it really is.

Guest columnist Dan Shade lives in York.

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The York-Adams basketball season saw deep postseason runs, program milestones and numerous champions. Recap the highlights from the 2016-17 season. Sean Heisey, GameTimePA.com

PIAA qualifiers

Here's a look at who gets into the state basketball tournaments, according to the PIAA website:

Boys' basketball 

  • Class 1A: 117 teams, 32 qualify for state tourney. Lowest-admitted seed: District 3 sixth-place finisher. 
  • Class 2A: 115 teams, 32 qualify for state tourney. Lowest-admitted seed: District 7 sixth-place finisher.
  • Class 3A: 123 teams, 32 qualify for state tourney. Lowest-admitted seeds: Sixth-place finishers from Districts 12 and 7.
  • Class 4A: 125 teams, 32 qualify for state tourney. Lowest-admitted seed: District 7 sixth-place finisher.
  • Class 5A: 122 teams, 32 qualify for state tourney. Lowest-admitted seed: 10th-place finisher from District 3.
  • Class 6A: 120 teams, 32 qualify for state tourney. Lowest-admitted seed: 10th-place finisher from District 1.

Girls' basketball 

  • Class 1A: 118 teams, 32 qualify for state tourney. Lowest-admitted seed: District 3 sixth-place finisher.
  • Class 2A: 118 teams, 32 qualify for state tourney. Lowest-admitted seed: District 7 seventh-place finisher.
  • Class 3A: 119 teams, 32 qualify for state tourney. Lowest-admitted seeds: District 7 sixth-place finisher.
  • Class 4A: 109 teams, 32 qualify for state tourney. Lowest-admitted seed: District 7 seventh-place finisher.
  • Class 5A: 130 teams, 32 qualify for state tourney. Lowest-admitted seed: District 3 seventh-place finisher
  • Class 6A: 119 teams, 32 qualify for state tourney. Lowest-admitted seed: 11th-place finisher from District 1

Seeding games

Here's a look at how many seeding games were played in District 3 in order to rank the district's PIAA qualifiers.

Boys' basketball 

A total of 25 seeding games were played in the District 3 tournament in 2016-17, up from 11 seeding games in 2015-16 (one in Class 1A, one in 2A, four in 3A and five in 4A). Here's this season's breakdown:

  • Class 1A: 4 
  • Class 2A: 0
  • Class 3A: 1
  • Class 4A: 4
  • Class 5A: 12
  • Class 6A: 4

Girls' basketball 

A total of 19 seeding games were played in the District 3 tournament in 2016-17, up from 12 seeding games in 2015-16 (one in Class 1A, one in 2A, five in 3A and five in 4A). Here's this season's breakdown:

  • Class 1A: 4
  • Class 2A: 0
  • Class 3A: 1
  • Class 4A: 4
  • Class 5A: 5
  • Class 6A: 5
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