A for Athlete

Suggestion #10:[]

PPS should work in political ways to legislate changes to the existing PIAA rules in terms of coop teams.[]

Coops allow school districts to be more creative with opportunities for students. However, co-ops are less than ideal.

The term “co-op” (also coop) is short for “cooperative sponsorship of a sport.” The outcome is an agreement among schools that allows teams to field squads of student-athletes from two or three schools. Coops are a trend in scholastic sports. Coop rules dictate that no more than 3 schools merge into one team. So, it would not be possible with the rules in place in 2014 to make a single coop team in any sport that involves students from all PPS high schools. To form one “all-star” quad-A team sounds like a great idea, but it is not permitted. Example: The Northgate School District has a swim pool and a swim team and students that go to Avalon High School are able to join Northgate's swim team.

Most suburban school districts have one high school. All the students from that one district attend one school and join one sports team. Pittsburgh Public Schools is one district but with many schools. Pittsburgh needs to have many teams as all the kids are spread among various schools.

The proposed Olympic Sports Department could take a long-term approach, and reason with, and lobby for adjustments to “coop” rules and opportunities with sports administrators within the PIAA and WPIAL.

For details, read PIAA By-Laws, ARTICLE III, ATTENDANCE, Section 11, Cooperative Sponsorship of a Sport deals with co-op(s). PIAA recognizes as separate high schools those schools recognized as separate high schools by the PA Department of Education.

Example: The first challenge with sports coop that should gain easy approval is in water polo. With the help of PPS and PPS H2O, a petition to the PIAA and water polo administration should enable a “Pittsburgh Combined” varsity water polo team that allow participation in the sport with students from any PPS schools. In an emerging sport such as water polo, and with willing competitors, getting approval for this new type of team and district coop framework is possible.

Example 2: Girls water polo could be easier to begin if it is a city-wide opportunity.

Example 3: Other district-wide sports teams might emerge in Bowling, Competitive Cheer, Triathlon and Cycling.