PIAA approves changes to the post-season setup for 2021
During their meeting on Wednesday, Deccember 9th, the PIAA board of directors approved significant changes to the 2021 wrestling post-season. The changes were recommended by the wrestling steering committee to create smaller brackets due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Changes were made to both the team and individual state championships. Additional changes are expected to be made in the near future by the many of the various Districts on how they run their post-seasons as well.
Here's a recap of all the changes for the post-season in 2021 (as of now...):
The state duals brackets have been trimmed down to 10 (from 20) for both AA and AAA, with only the District champions advancing to the State Duals.
UPDATE AS OF DECEMBER 22: The PIAA has postponed the state duals until AFTER the individual tournament. New dates and possibly a new location have not been determined yet. We'll update this page whenever any announcement is made.
The first round will take place on Monday, February 8, 2020 and the second round (quarterfinals) will take place on Wednesday, February 10, 2020. Both rounds will be hosted by the team in the top of the bracket for each matchup. Those rounds are single-elimination.
The semifinals for AA will take place on Friday, February 12, 2020 at 4 PM on 2 mats at the Giant Center in Hershey. The finals and 3rd place match will follow at 7 PM.
The semifinals for AAA will take place on Saturday, February 13, 2020 at 10 AM on 2 mats at the Giant Center in Hershey. The finals and 3rd place match will follow at 1 PM.
The recommendation is to keep all tournaments to a single day and to limit the size of the brackets to no more than 8 wrestlers per weight class. For some of the larger Districts, this will create a bit of a challenge – one that will be addressed in the coming weeks by each District now that the PIAA has approved the full post-season scheduling.
In both AA and AAA, a new "Super Regional" level has been added to the schedule after regions and before states. There will be 2 Super Regionals in each classification: East and West
In AA, Districts 3, 4, 7, and 10 traditionally have sectional tournaments. Those would be held on Friday, February 19th. The District level tournaments would be held the following day, Saturday, February 20th. The table below shows the number of qualifiers coming out of each District into the Regional tournaments.
The 4 Regional tournaments would take place on Saturday, February 27th. As you can see in the table below, each regional bracket will feature 8 wrestlers per weight class. The South regions will qualify 5 per weight and the North regions will qualify 3 per weight to the Super Regionals.
The Super Regionals will take place on Saturday, March 6th. Each tournament will qualify 4 per weight to States.
Finally, the Class AA State Championships will take place at the Giant Center in Hershey on Friday, March 12th. The exact schedule for the state tournaments is still undecided but there are proposals using 2, 3, or 4 mats. One thing that will be done is the quarterfinals, semifinals, and first consolation round for the first 6 weights will run in the first session, followed by the same rounds for the last 7 weights in the second session. Then the third and final session will include the consolation semifinals and all placing matches. All 8 wrestlers who compete in the new state tournament brackets will earn a medal.
In AAA, Districts 1, 3, and 7 traditionally have sectional tournaments. Like AA, the exact structure of those tournaments have yet to be decided. Those tournaments will take place on Saturday, February 20th. Since those Districts are also their own self-contained Regions, each will need to find a way to qualify 8 wrestlers per weight to their Regional.
Also on February 20th, the other Districts will hold their District tournaments. The table below shows the number of qualifiers coming out of each District into the Regional tournaments.
Like AA, the 5 AAA Regional tournaments will take place on Saturday, February 27th. The table below shows the number of entries per District along with the number of qualifiers for each Region to the Super Regional.
Both Super Regionals will take place on Saturday, March 6th, with each tournament qualifying 4 to States.
Finally, the Class AAA State Championships will take place at the Giant Center in Hershey on Saturday, March 13th. Like AA, the exact schedule for the tournament is still undecided but there are proposals using 2, 3, or 4 mats. AAA will follow the same basic a schedule as AA with the quarterfinals, semifinals, and first consolation round for the first 6 weights running in the first session, followed by the same rounds for the last 7 weights in the second session. Then the third and final session will include the consolation semifinals and all placing matches. All 8 wrestlers who compete in the new state tournament brackets will earn a medal.
Stay Tuned for More Changes?
As with everything involving this season and 2020, this is all subject to change based on changing state and federal guidelines and recommendations for keeping the athletes, coaches, staffs, and fans (if allowed at all) as safe as possible.
Many schools and leagues have already decided to delay the start of their seasons, but hopefully we'll get to the end of the season by crowning new state champions and new state medalists.
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