How Bad Is It?

The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of RCN or any other agency, organization, employer or company.  

This past week, it was announced that the Pennsylvania state legislature was going to introduce a bill that would separate the boundary (usually referred to as the public) schools and the non-boundary (private, Catholic, charter) schools.  The competition between the two has been going on since 1972 when Act 219 was passed.

The PIAA has long held the position that it was up to the legislature, not their governing body, to change the format of the state championships in football and basketball.     Boundary schools, particularly in the western part of the state, have been vehemently calling for the change.

The first question to ask – is it an unfair playing field?  “Non-boundary” is at the root of the problem.  Public school enrollment is determined by their geography or their boundaries.  By their very nature, private schools must recruit students to attend and are allowed to go where they need to go to get their student population, thus, “non-boundary”.

In other words, private schools do not abide by the same set of rules as public schools.  They also have the advantage that once they become seen as possessing outstanding football and basketball programs, the more talented players want to go there.  They reason, and rightfully so, that they will be exposed to more college scouts for potential scholarships and will participate in more state championship contests.

Approximately 75% of the 350,000 potential students attend boundary schools. Yet, the private schools have dominated the state playoffs and the state championships.  The football championships were split this year, but the school populations are far from split.  But history has shown that around 60% or more of the titles go to the private schools even though they have a much smaller percentage of the student population.

Maryland has separate playoffs for the public and private schools.  It seems to work.

With six classifications in Pennsylvania, it would be easy to break the numbers down.  Four public school champions and two private school champions would seem to be fair to everyone.

I, for one, will be every interested to see what Harrisburg does.  Stay tuned.


  1. This was a tough sports weekend for me. I’m not very interested in the NBA All-Star game – watching guys play one against one basketball is not very appealing.  The weekend golf in Los Angeles took forever to complete due to bad weather every day.  Thanks goodness I could watch the Lafayette win over Loyola on the internet.  With RCN high-speed Internet, watching a game on the computer is not much different than watching it on TV.
  1. The Flyers continue to climb in the standings. They have won 12 of their last 14.  Their new goalie, Carter Hart, continues to be the difference.  The Flyers are generating excitement once again.  Can they get to the NHL playoffs?
  1. With the March Madness pools coming shortly, Duke is, once again, the top-ranked team in the polls. Duke starts four freshmen and has not lost a game at full strength.  They play North Carolina this week.  That “usually’ creates some excitement in the ACC.  Where will you put them in YOUR pool?
  1. Congratulations are in order for the Bethlehem Catholic boys and girls basketball teams and the same goes to the Southern Lehigh boys and girls teams. All of them have a championship – the former winning the EPC and the latter winning the Colonial League.  Beca’s Justin Paz had quite a week: he made a 3-point shot from mid-court to beat Nazareth by two points in the EPC semifinals and drove the length of the court to beat Emmaus in the championship game with 2.5 seconds on the clock.
  1. It’s on to the District basketball and the District individual wrestling championships. It’s the best of times for winter athletics.




Gary Laubach About Gary Laubach

Gary began his broadcasting career with Twin County in 1972. Twin County eventually became C-TEC and then RCN. Gary holds the dual role of Director of Media Services and Sports Director/Broadcaster. He currently broadcasts about 140 sports and entertainment broadcasts a year, and oversees the scheduling of all sporting events for RCN.

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