PIAA makes transfers ineligible for first postseason with new team

Imhotep Charter players celebrate after beating Sharon, 71-35, for the PIAA Class 4A state basketball championship in March.

The Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association adopted stricter rules for transfers on Wednesday.

The PIAA board of directors suspended protocol and passed a rule that makes a student-athlete who transfers during the 10th-grade year or beyond ineligible for the district and state playoffs for one season, except in the case of a hardship waiver. The rule, which passed by a 26-2 vote at the meeting in State College, Pa., will go into effect Aug. 6.

“We’re not a team of transfers, so it won’t affect us very much,” said Imhotep Charter boys’ basketball coach Andre Noble, also the school’s athletic director. “But either way, we’ll follow the PIAA’s rules.”

A hardship waiver could be granted by a district committee if there is a change in residence necessitated by a change in employment; a school-initiated administrative transfer within a school district; a court-ordered transfer; a change of schools caused by a military reassignment of a parent; a change in schools caused by release from a juvenile facility; or a demonstrable change in income or other financial resources that compels withdrawal from a PIAA school.

Imhotep Charter, of the Public League, last season won its second straight PIAA state basketball title and sixth overall.

“I don’t think this rule will affect the success of District 12,” Noble said.

The board of directors also suspended protocol and passed a “competition success formula” that will be used for football and boys’ and girls’ basketball beginning with the 2020-21 classification cycle.

The “competition success formula” will take into consideration postseason victories and the number of transfers on a team in a two-year classification cycle. A team could be bumped up a classification based on a points system determined by the PIAA.

There are six classifications in football and boys’ and girls’ basketball. The possible formation of a seventh classification, or “Super Class,” was eliminated, at least for the time being. There is a minimum number of schools (eight in football; 16 in basketball) to create another tier.