Apr. 21—District 2 baseball and softball postseason tournaments will likely follow the format set for fall sports where the higher-seeded team
host games, including the championships.
PNC Field is not available for its usual role as host of the baseball championships on Memorial Day weekend, so District 2 had looked into other neutral-site venues, but none were willing to host the championships, the district announced at a meeting Tuesday.
Dates for baseball and softball postseason tournaments will be finalized by next week, District 2 Chairman Frank Majikes said.
In addition, the dates
for the District 2 Track and Field Championships are set. Class 2A is May 17 and
Class 3A is May 18. Both will be held at North Pocono High School after Scranton Memorial Stadium chose not to host because of COVID-19 concerns.
Qualifying standards for the championships are posted at piaad2.org. Pole vaulters must meet or exceed the qualifying standard. Also, in the shot put, discus and javelin, the long and triple jumps, the first attempt will be measured. After the first attempt there will be no measure of sub-minimum attempts.
To advance to the PIAA Championships at Shippensburg University: in Class 2A boys, the top two places and anyone who meets the state-qualifying standard; in
Class 2A/3A girls and
Class 3A boys, anyone who meets the state-qualifying standard.
The PIAA Class 2A meet
is Friday, May 28 and the Class 3A meet is Saturday, May 29. Athletes are eligible for on-campus housing at Shippensburg University and will be provided meals for the night of and the day of their stays, PIAA Chief Operating Officer Mark Byers informed the District 2 Committee at Tuesday’s meeting.
In regard to the baseball championships, Majikes has stated he was informed by PNC Field officials that Major League Baseball would not allow outside events at the minor league facility this year.
PNC Field, which is home to the Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders, is unable to host the games the holiday weekend of May 29-31 for a few reasons, according to team officials. The most significant being the team will be in the middle of a 12-game homestand, and adding six games early in the season is “ultimately not something the field can handle,” RailRiders director of communications Adam Marco said.
The RailRiders offered to host the championship games a week earlier (May 22-24), Marco said, but the District 2 committee decided that it would be too much of a layoff for teams between then and the start of the state playoffs.
“So, it was just a matter of our schedule … and the dates that we were allowed to utilize the ballpark that’s where the Major League Baseball side had to come in,” Marco said. “And I think this was just conjecture that was passed along and it was taken as fact, but Major League Baseball had to approve dates that we could use the ballpark for other things, in conjunction with our schedule. So the weekend prior, the whole week when we’re not home, (we) could schedule games. But they wouldn’t approve anything in direct relation to when we were playing. But also, we said, ultimately the decision was made that the field would not be able to handle that in the middle of a 12-game homestand.”
Dates are set for the District 2 volleyball tournaments, which will be hosted by the higher seed. In Class 3A, all five teams qualify with quarterfinals May 19, semifinals May 25 and the championship May 25. Class 2A is a subregional with District 1 and District 11. It starts May 17, with quarterfinals May 19, semifinals May 25 and championship and third-place matches May 27.
Lacrosse postseason dates are tentatively set. In boys Class 2A, quarterfinals are May 11, semifinals May 18 and final May 21. The girls Class 2A will have quarterfinals May 13, semifinals May 17 and final May 20.
The Class 3A brackets and dates will be finalized after a subregional meeting with District 11. The top eight teams, according to their power ratings, and any team with a better than .500 record will qualify for the team tournaments.
Tuesday’s meeting also included discussion from members of the PIAA. Melissa Mertz, PIAA associate executive director, said the goal is to have a full postseason for spring sports athletes who missed their entire seasons in 2020 because of the coronavirus pandemic.
To achieve that, however, the PIAA is seeking schools willing to host neutral-site playoff games. If that cannot be achieved the PIAA may be forced to go with champions-only tournaments as it did in the fall and winter sports seasons.
Staff writer CONOR FOLEY contributed to this report.
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