Commentary and Theory with a yinzer slant #year9

2017 Pittsburgh Alignment is a Mess

You’ve seen this already if you follow us on Twitter or you’re one of the seventeen people who still read the Pittsburgh LaxPower thread.

School enrollment realignment is forcing teams that aren’t ready to move up. We already knew about that, but there’s more. The new Division 1, now referred to as “AAA,” features 23 teams and 3 sections. These sections were formed completely based off of geography without any consideration of program talent.

Section 1 consists of city and south hill teams. Central Catholic didn’t have goalie for their junior varsity team in 2015 but because of school size they remain D1/AAA. Baldwin doesn’t even have field with lights to use this spring so they’ll definitely be ready to play Mt. Lebanon next spring.

Section 2 draws the most ire from a talent standpoint. Of the eight schools in the section, only three of them are current Division 1 teams.

Fox Chapel is just a few years removed from a 1-13-1 record. Since their move to D1 in 2009, their record is  46-63-1. Levi McCrady graduates in less than four months.

Franklin Regional, one of the more dominant programs in the late 90s and early 2000s has fallen off the map. They are one of the smaller schools forced to compete in AAA and have recently left the highly competitive MSLCA.

Shady Side is obviously the class of the section, but their enrollment numbers have them AA. They have opted to play up presumably to avoid an easy road to the AA title. The AAA section title appears to be just as easy.

Section 3 doesn’t appear to be too bad. Sewickley joining Pine, Seneca, and North Allegheny makes for a group of death. Can you imagine a lesser team from Section 1 or 2 taking a playoff spot away from one of these blue bloods due to alignment restrictions? Let’s say NA finishes third in their section but a second place Section 1 or 2 takes their spot.

Why have three sections instead of four? Would have been an easy way to carve up Section 2 and Section 3 into something more respectable. The current D2 alignment has 27 teams and four sections.

AAA Questions that will eventually be answered

  • How will the remaining playoff spots be determined?
  • Who will seed the at large teams? WPIAL leadership? Laxpower?

Scenario 1

6 team playoff

Section champs and section runner ups

Top two section champs get a bye to semi finals

Scenario 2

8 team playoff

Section champs, section runner ups, two at large teams

There was a time…several years ago when a coach said, “Be careful what you wish for.” He was referencing the WPIAL/PIAA take over.


 

Later today, our 2016 Pittsburgh Preseason Content drops.

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