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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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External links[edit]

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City of Basketball Love

City of Basketball Love
Wed, 14 Jan 2015 17:43:03 -0800

Each team in the Public League's “A” Division has played five league games, with each program going up against each other exactly once. So while there's still plenty of time for things to change, we at least have a pretty clear idea of where things stand.

Chestnut Hill Local

Chestnut Hill Local
Tue, 20 Jan 2015 09:03:45 -0800

On Tuesday, January 13, Inter-Ac leader Germantown Academy took a 66-37 decision against the SCH Blue Devils, who came back the following afternoon to hang a 60-45 loss on Bodine High School of the Philadelphia Public League. Claiming their first ...

USA TODAY High School Sports

USA TODAY High School Sports
Wed, 14 Jan 2015 10:32:34 -0800

A successful longtime head basketball coach of a Philadelphia public league powerhouse has resigned in the middle of the season, leaving the school's administration scrambling, players befuddled and everyone wondering exactly why it happened.

The Philadelphia Tribune

The Philadelphia Tribune
Mon, 19 Jan 2015 08:30:00 -0800

Junior Klo-doh Htoo was not only on this year's team, but he was also one of the players at the school selected for the 2014 Philadelphia Public League All Star Game. He was also part of the Philadelphia Public League at the Pennsylvania Soccer ...
Fri, 23 Jan 2015 12:02:03 -0800

... Class AAAA championship only to suffer a late-game breakdown that cost them in their duel with Chester. In states, Pennsbury opened with a win over Wilson West Lawn before being eliminated by Philadelphia Public League champion Martin Luther King.

City of Basketball Love

City of Basketball Love
Tue, 20 Jan 2015 21:47:46 -0800

Despite going 3-5 outside of league games, the Generals sealed their sixth straight win in the Philadelphia Public League to go 6-0 on the season Tuesday night. Martin Luther King HS stands at 5-1 and the only realistic challenge to Constitution ...
Bucks County Courier Times
Mon, 19 Jan 2015 19:11:15 -0800

... rankings released last week, there were five District 12 teams in the Class AAAA Top 10 (Roman Catholic, LaSalle, St. Joseph's Prep from the Philadelphia Catholic League; Martin Luther King and George Washington from the Philadelphia Public League).
Bucks Local News
Thu, 22 Jan 2015 07:11:15 -0800

The Recupido family gathered together with the Langhorne community Dec. 29 and 30 for the first annual Deby Recupido Memorial Holiday Basketball Tournament at Neshaminy High School. Pictured from left, daughter Lauren, son A.J., husband Fred.

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