It wasn't too surprising when PIAA voted in October to increase the number of classes in football from four to six starting in the 2016-17 season. After all, that scenario had been seriously debated for more than a year.

What was a surprise, however, is that along with football, 10 other sports had the number of classes bumped up, too. Basketball (boys and girls), baseball and softball also went from four to six, soccer (boys and girls) and girls volleyball went from three to four, field hockey is now three instead of two and lacrosse (boys and girls) is now two instead of one.

PIAA recently published a list of the "classification parameters" to show where the enrollment numbers for each of those classes fell, and also published a list of where each school was slotted into the formula for each sport. See the list below for information on the classes in each sport for the nine area PIAA schools.

As before, enrollment figures for boys and girls determine each schools' fate. The number of schools in the PIAA that sponsor each sport is divided by the number of classes to determine the cutoff line for each class, meaning there are an equal number of schools in each class statewide.

And those numbers are different by gender. For example, Waynesboro has 472 boys and 502 girls, which means in basketball and baseball/softball, Waynesboro will be Class 6A for girls and 5A for boys.

"Our lower classes are pretty large for girls," Indian athletic director Eric McIlquham said. "We need to get more of them interested in athletics."

Chambersburg, Fannett-Metal, Forbes Road and Southern Fulton essentially will see no change. The Trojans will still be in the highest class in each sport, and F-M, Forbes and SF will be in the lowest.

McConnellsburg has 121 boys and 97 girls. That moves the boys into 2A in baseball and basketball, and the lowest class in all other sports. But the girls' number fell right on the line for basketball, so the Lady Spartans are 2A for that sport, but still single-A in softball.

Spartan AD Dane Pollock said, "The boys should be AA for a while, I think. Our sophomore class is what's bumping us up -- we have 49 in that class -- so we would have probably been AA even if they didn't change."

Southern Fulton spent a few years on the border between A and AA, but lower numbers show the Indians will be strictly A for now.

Athletic director Kent Hendershot said, "The numbers for both boys (88) and girls (94) are down, and the boys are down around 20 from before. I think we'll be down for quite a while."

In recent years, Shippensburg and Greencastle-Antrim have been close to the line between the highest class and the next class down.

Now, for baseball and boys basketball, G-A will be 5A and Shippensburg goes to 4A, along with James Buchanan. In softball and girls basketball, Ship will be with the Blue Devils in 5A, while JB is the only 4A school. In soccer, all three of those schools are 3A, and Waynesboro is 4A.

"In boys soccer, we were just four over the limit," McIlquham said. "We're one of those schools that's going to be on the edge a lot."

Now what remains to be seen is how each district handles its tournaments. The number of teams that qualify for the playoffs in each sport will need to be adjusted, for one thing. District 5, for example, could have a shortage in AA and AAA teams.

"At least in A, the number will be down, but I think we'll still have 10-11 or so," Hendershot said. "That will work as long as not too many have horrible records. In the long run this may level the playing field."

Pollock said, "District 5 should be divided fairly evenly between A and AA. I think this makes it a little more fair, and maybe more competitive when you have a No. 1 seed against a No. 8. But it is disappointing that we won't be playing our local rivals in the playoffs anymore."

Pollock, who is also the Spartans' boys basketball coach, is just happy his team -- which is expected to have a good season this winter -- isn't changing classes yet.

"We have one more year in single-A and I hope we can take advantage of that," he said.


For 2016-17, 2017-18 seasons


Enrollments: Chambersburg 844, Waynesboro 472, Greencastle-Antrim 380, Shippensburg 353, James Buchanan 300, McConnellsburg 121, Southern Fulton 88, Forbes Road 51, Fannett-Metal 47

Baseball (6 classes): 6A (Chbg), 5A (Way, G-A), 4A (Ship, JB), 2A (McConn), A (SF, FR, F-M)

Basketball (6): 6A (Chbg), 5A (Way, G-A), 4A (Ship, JB), 2A (McConn), A (SF, FR, F-M)

Cross country (3): 3A (Chbg, Way), 2A (G-A, Ship, JB), A (SF)

Football (6): 6A (Chbg), 5A (Way), 4A (G-A, Ship, JB)

Golf (2): 3A (Chbg, Way, G-A, Ship, JB)

Lacrosse (2): 3A (Chbg)

Soccer (4): 4A (Chbg, Way), 3A (G-A, Ship, JB), A (McConn, SF, FR, F-M)

Swimming & diving (2): 3A (Chbg), 2A (Ship, JB)

Tennis (2): 3A (Chbg), 2A (JB)

Track & field (2): 3A (Chbg, Way, G-A, Ship, JB), 2A (McConn, SF, F-M)

Volleyball (2): 3A (Chbg)

Wrestling (2): 3A (Chbg, Way, G-A, Ship), 2A (JB)


Enrollments: Chambersburg 805, Waynesboro 502, Greencastle-Antrim 348, Shippensburg 337, James Buchanan 314, McConnellsburg 97, Southern Fulton 94,  Fannett-Metal 59, Forbes Road 31

Basketball (6): 6A (Chbg, Way), 5A (G-A, Ship), 4A (JB), 2A (McConn), A (SF, F-M, FR)

Cross country (3):  3A (Chbg, Way), 2A (G-A, Ship, JB), A (SF)

Field hockey (3): 3A (Chbg, Way), 2A (G-A, Ship), A (FR)

Golf (2): 3A (Chbg, Way, G-A, Ship, JB)

Lacrosse (2): 3A (Chbg)

Soccer (4): 4A (Chbg, Way), 3A (G-A, Ship, JB), A (McConn)

Swimming & diving (2): 3A (Chbg), 2A (Ship, JB)

Tennis (2): 3A (Chbg), 2A (JB)

Track & field (2): 3A (Chbg, Way, G-A, Ship, JB), 2A (McConn, SF, F-M)

Volleyball (4): 4A (Chbg, Way), 3A (G-A, Ship, JB), A (McConn, SF, F-M)

Read or Share this story: