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The Philadelphia Public League (PPL) is the interscholastic sports league for the public high schools of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The league traces its origin to 1901, with the formation of the Philadelphia Interscholastic League, a conference encompassing all the city's high schools, public and private. Prior to this, the public and private schools in the area had been competing among themselves for several years in a number of sports, including football and basketball. Basketball and track and field were the first recognized sports in 1901, but football, although not formally on the schedule, engaged all the same teams, and newspapers usually recognized the school with the best record as the informal interscholastic champion. In 1902, baseball and crew were added to the schedule.


Initially, the Public League comprised the four public schools that withdrew from the Interscholastic League—Central, Central Manual, Northeast, and Southern—as well as West Philadelphia High. Germantown Academy, a private school, joined a few years later. Overbrook, Frankford, Simon Gratz, Olney, and Roxborough would join the league over the next couple of decades.

Football, basketball, rifle, outdoor track, crew, and baseball were offered in the first school year of competition, 1911-12. Crew was especially popular in Philadelphia, as the University of Pennsylvania sponsored interscholastic meets for the sport and encouraged its adoption by the city high schools. Soccer and cross country were added just before World War I, and the 1920s saw the introduction of swimming, gymnastics, golf, and tennis. The league experimented with indoor track (1915–21), ice hockey (1922), and bowling (1930–32), but these sports drew insufficient interest to sustain them. Crew was dropped by the league in 1919, which was a great blow to Central High, which for decades had one of the strongest rowing programs in the country.


The public school members in the Philadelphia Interscholastic League included Central High, Central Manual, and Northeast, in the first few years, and beginning in 1909 Southern. There were at least twelve different private schools that were members—secular, Quaker, and Catholic—and the most notable members were Brown Preparatory, Roman Catholic, Friends Central Select, and LaSalle. In 1911, the public school members withdrew from the league to form the Philadelphia High School League (later called the Philadelphia Public League).

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Original courtesy of Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Philadelphia_Public_League — Please support Wikipedia.
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312 news items

City of Basketball Love

City of Basketball Love
Thu, 27 Aug 2015 11:22:30 -0700

... and collegiate basketball scene, CoBL has since grown to a staff of more than 20 writers and photographers that have covered thousands of games, from the Philadelphia Public League to the NCAA Tournament, plus hundreds of offseason events since the ...

Albuquerque Journal

Albuquerque Journal
Tue, 25 Aug 2015 23:11:15 -0700

Martin Luther King went on to win a Philadelphia Public League title in 2013. Hart-Johnson finished his prep career with 93 catches for 2,038 yards, the latter total believed to be an all-time Public League record. But the 1-mile trip from Germantown ...

The Philadelphia Tribune

The Philadelphia Tribune
Tue, 21 Apr 2015 11:56:15 -0700

The Philadelphia Public League Girl's Basketball Showcase was held at Simon Gratz High School on Saturday. There were two all-star games, which featured the top girls basketball players in the Public League. Joe Garrett, the head girl's basketball ...
Fri, 20 Feb 2015 03:15:00 -0800

Shawn Witherspoon (24) and his La Salle College teammates aren't impacted by Philly's latest mess, but the Explorers will meet George Washington in District 12-AAAA's win-or-else third-place game on Thursday. (Mark Pynes, PennLive.com). By Michael ...


Tue, 03 Mar 2015 20:41:10 -0800

In the Philadelphia Public League, 12 schools have qualified bowlers. Central leads all Public League schools, sending its boy team, one individual girl and four individual boys to regionals. Randolph has two individual boys participating and Girls ...


Mon, 11 Nov 2013 07:30:28 -0800

The Martin Luther King High School Cougars football team won the Philadelphia Public League Class AAA championship on Saturday with a 32-7 victory over a Mastery North team to which it lost earlier in the season. Presenting the championship plaque to ...
The Philly Soccer Page
Thu, 28 Aug 2014 07:44:19 -0700

Photo: Roman seniors Diego Ramirez, going to play at Cabrini, and Mariano Cepeda, going to play at Holy Family, along with Roman assistant coach Jerry Brindisi. A quick note: The Philadelphia Public League has three divisions, with the top two teams ...
The Philly Soccer Page
Thu, 05 Sep 2013 07:17:40 -0700

PSP's preview of Philadelphia's high school boys' soccer season concludes with a look at the Public League, broken down by division. The A Division. After finishing 9-1-1 last year, Northeast High School finished second place in league play on head-to ...

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