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Controversial tie keeps Penn Hills boys out of playoffs

| Tuesday, Oct. 15, 2013, 12:01 a.m.

Penn Hills and Woodland Hills were tied at zero when their Section 3-AAA game Sept. 21 was halted because of inclement weather.

The tie gave each team a point, but Penn Hills (7-6-2, 4-5-2) argued the game should be resumed at the beginning of the second half, citing a rule listed on the PIAA website.

A win over Woodland Hills — a team Penn Hills beat, 4-0, on Oct. 10 — would've snapped a playoff drought dating to 2004-05.

Instead, the Indians had to beat Fox Chapel (14-1, 10-1) Monday. (The Foxes prevailed, 13-0, bumping Penn Hills from the postseason.)

The information on the PIAA site says, in the event of inclement weather, “Re-start at the point of suspension if less than one half is played. If more than one-half is played and if a winner is determined, it is an official game and the result stands. If a winner cannot be determined, the game is resumed from the point of suspension.”

While that's true and other PIAA teams operate like that, the WPIAL, which is considered a league and a PIAA district, abides by the National Federation of State High School Association rule, which states, “In the event a game must be suspended because of conditions which make it impossible to continue play, the head referee shall declare it an official game if one complete half or more of the game has been played.”

So …

“Because the WPIAL is a league and PIAA district simultaneously,” PIAA assistant executive director Mark Byers wrote in an email, “(the WPIAL has) adopted and announced for all of their schools that all games that are suspended after a half is completed, stands as a completed game.”

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