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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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355 news items

Tue, 30 Jun 2015 12:41:15 -0700

A two-sport standout at Central High School, Pierce was a four-year letterwinner on the court, earning Philadelphia Public League All-Star honors as a sophomore and junior (1990, 1991) and First Team Philadelphia All-Public League honors in 1992.
Bucks Local News
Thu, 02 Jul 2015 12:52:30 -0700

BRISTOL BORO – It's official – John Greiner is the new head coach of the Bristol High School Football Warriors. Greiner makes the move to the Borough after putting in 15 years as an assistant coach at Pennsbury. The decision to accept Greiner over ...


Tue, 16 Jun 2015 04:03:45 -0700

Two games were played Monday afternoon at Philly's Richie Ashburn Field, where Suburban One National/Bicentennial defeated Olympic/Colonial 6-1 and Delaware North handled the Philadelphia Public League 12-5. While Berks County will open Tuesday ...
The Trentonian
Mon, 22 Jun 2015 19:15:00 -0700

Not to be deterred, Mercer then bounced back in its second game with a 10-1 win over the Philadelphia Public League. Advertisement. This was followed by a wild 11-10 victory over Berks County/Lancaster after Mercer had initially taken a 8-0 lead, only ...

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 ...
Mon, 22 Jun 2015 21:07:30 -0700

After routing Philadelphia Public League in its opener, Delco's bats again produced in its first winners-bracket contest. At one point Delco plated seven straight runs in the victory over Chester County, turning a 3-2 deficit into a 9-3 cushion. Leigh ...
Mon, 15 Jun 2015 18:26:30 -0700

Hodgson's Brandon Walter struck out 7 batters in 3 innings, and Delaware North scored 7 times in the 3rd to defeat the Philadelphia Public League All-Stars 12-5 in the Opening Round of the 2015 Carpenter Cup in Philadelphia. Delaware North's triumph is ...
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 ...

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