ShareThis Page
WPIAL won’t force teams to play Week Zero games |

WPIAL won’t force teams to play Week Zero games

| Wednesday, January 17, 2018 8:45 p.m.
Christian Tyler Randolph | Tribune-Review
Jeannette's Seth Howard (8) stiff arms Imani Christian's Rahmon Hart Jr. (11) but fumbles the ball during the WPIAL 1A Championship on Saturday Nov. 25, 2017 at Robert Morris University.

Week Zero remains optional.

The WPIAL will not schedule football games for that flex week, letting schools once again decide whether to play a second scrimmage or schedule a nonconference contest.

Football schedules for next season will appear online Jan. 30.

Using Week Zero for the regular season could have given the WPIAL added playoff flexibility, potentially expanding a three-round bracket to four. Or it could have allowed a bracket to remain the same size but end a week sooner.

But the WPIAL doesn’t favor that idea.

“Until we get over 90 percent of the schools using (Week Zero), I think it’s probably ill-advised for us to force it upon people,” WPIAL executive director Tim O’Malley said. “Last year there were (approximately) 65 percent of teams that played Week Zero. That means there are 35 percent who didn’t. We’re going to make them play when they don’t want to play? I don’t think that’s the right way to go.”

The PIAA approved Week Zero before the 2016 season. The extra week allowed teams the option of scheduling a rival or finding an out-of-district matchup, if they want. Pine-Richland, for example, used it each year to play an out-of-state opponent on ESPN.

Each team will receive a nine-game schedule later this month, O’Malley said, which could include one or two nonconference games. For instance, each Class 6A team must face one Class 5A team.

What’s still undecided is how many teams from each classification will qualify for the WPIAL playoffs. That decision is on hold until after the PIAA reveals updated state playoff brackets. The PIAA board meets Jan. 24.

After the state brackets are revealed, the WPIAL strategic planning committee will craft WPIAL playoff brackets. If all stays on schedule, those recommendations would be presented for WPIAL board approval Feb. 19.

Chris Harlan is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at or via Twitter @CHarlan_Trib.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.