To create more competitive balance, the Philadelphia Catholic League will split into two divisions for girls’ basketball.
The format is a one-year pilot program for the 2019-20 season, according to Catholic League chairman Jake Serfass, the athletic director at Father Judge. League officials will decide after the season whether to continue with a two-division setup or revert to a single division, Serfass said.
The new format was made in a vote by the league’s athletic directors during a spring meeting, Serfass said. The change was then approved by the league’s principals.
The divisions were split along the lines of competitive strength, using win-loss records from the last five seasons.
The Red Division will have seven teams: Archbishop Carroll, Neumann-Goretti, Archbishop Wood, West Catholic, Bonner-Prendergast, Cardinal O’Hara, and Archbishop Ryan.
The Blue Division will have six teams: Lansdale Catholic, Bishop McDevitt, St. Hubert’s, Conwell-Egan, Hallahan, and Little Flower.
Teams will play division rivals twice during the regular season. There will be no cross-over games except those required to qualify for the PIAA playoffs.
Competition should be fierce in the Red Division, with home-and-home battles between some of the strongest squads in the area.
The teams in the Blue should benefit from the opportunity to play more games against opponents of similar strength, Serfass said.
“It should help from a competitive standpoint,” Archbishop Wood coach Mike McDonald said. “It should eliminate the lopsided scores that you see sometimes.