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Penn-Trafford's appeal to PIAA board denied

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By John Tuscano
Wednesday, July 24, 2013, 9:09 p.m.

PIAA officials spent a portion of Wednesday's board of directors meeting going through some of the procedures of the newly adopted three-day heat acclimatization policy for high school football.

That was because of a request from Penn-Trafford High School, which appealed a decision from PIAA executive director Robert Lombardi regarding when it can begin the three-day heat acclimatization.

Penn-Trafford requested to begin its acclimatization Aug. 10 to be completed on Aug. 12, the day fall sports practices begin.

In an exchange of phone calls between Lombardi and Penn-Trafford school officials, Lombardi said completing the acclimatization from Aug. 10-12 would be violation of PIAA rules.

The policy states that the process must be completed in three consecutive days and must begin either Aug. 12 or Aug. 7-8 of the previous week.

Beginning the process on Saturday would violate the PIAA six-day practice rule, assuming Penn-Trafford would want to play a scrimmage Aug. 17.

According to the new acclimatization rule, schools have the option of completing three days during the previous week or during the first three days of official practice.

Lombardi reiterated that the three-day heat acclimatization is a required activity and counts as a practice.

As a result, Penn-Trafford's proposal would result in seven consecutive days of practice before its first scrimmage.

“If they didn't want to scrimmage on (Aug. 17), then they could do what they're proposing and practice Saturday-Thursday,” Lombardi said.

“But they would have to take Saturday off and wouldn't be able to scrimmage.”

After the discussion between the parties, Penn-Trafford's appeal was ultimately denied.

In other PIAA news:

• Lombardi updated the board of directors of the new National Federation of High Schools sports network, a subscription-based digital service that would cover girls and boys sports from across the country.

•Lombardi, who urged the PIAA to sign on with the new venture, said the broadcasting of PIAA championships would be excluded since the state organization already has an agreement with Pennsylvania Cable Network.

• The new NFHS sports network, which is set to debut for the 2013-14 school year, would broadcast PIAA interdistrict games, including the first round through the semifinals of PIAA team sports and the PIAA wrestling regional round.

• District championships would also be excluded from the broadcasts.

• The PIAA board also approved a pair of cooperative agreements involving WPIAL schools. Burgettstown and South Side Beaver will have a co-op in boys soccer, as will New Brighton and Rochester.

• The next PIAA board of directors meeting is scheduled for Oct. 2-3 in Mechanicsburg.

John Tuscano is a staff writer for Reach him at

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