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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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17 news items

Albany Times Union
Fri, 31 Oct 2014 20:11:15 -0700

Philadelphia Public League Tournament. Class AAAA. Quarterfinal. Gratz 24, Philadelphia Northeast 8. Martin Luther King 28, Frankford 20. Philadelphia George Washington 21, Bartram 8. WPIAL Class A. First Round. Avonworth 34, Mapletown 0. Clairton 62 ...
The Philly Soccer Page
Mon, 27 Oct 2014 09:12:59 -0700

The Public League semis took place on Thursday, Oct. 23. The first game featured second place Washington versus sixth seed Olney. Washington opened up a three goal lead, only to see Olney get two. Washington had a penalty called, but smashed the shot ...
The Intelligencer
Mon, 27 Oct 2014 19:43:09 -0700

Also in District 12 on Thursday, Lansdale Catholic will play in the Class AA title game against the top-ranked Class AA team in the Philadelphia Public League, for a spot in states. Both the District One Class AAA and Class A tournaments are back in ...

Penn Athletics

Penn Athletics
Wed, 08 Oct 2014 07:47:34 -0700

In his position as AD, he oversaw the administration of five varsity programs, and as the head basketball coach he led his team into the Philadelphia Public League. Lintulahti was also the Grade Level Coach at HOPE Charter during that time, serving as ...

The News Journal

The News Journal
Fri, 10 Oct 2014 20:13:19 -0700

PHILADELPHIA – Junior Colby Reeder rushed for 145 yards and two touchdowns while junior quarterback Garrett Cannon went 8 for 9 for 155 yards and three touchdowns to lead Salesianum to a victory over reigning Philadelphia Public League champion ...
The Intelligencer
Mon, 13 Oct 2014 18:11:10 -0700

Central Bucks West freshman Anna Sukharev and sophomore Reganne Gonser captured the Suburban One League Continental girls tennis doubles championship Friday at the Tennis Zone in Quakertown. The young duo defeated Pennridge's Kate ...
The Intelligencer
Tue, 14 Oct 2014 20:25:49 -0700

PHILADELPHIA — Lansdale Catholic faced a familiar foe Tuesday afternoon in the PIAA District 12 Class AA girls team tennis final. For the third year in succession, the Crusaders met Julia R. Masterman High from the Philadelphia Public League. Powered ...
The Delaware County Daily Times
Thu, 02 Oct 2014 22:48:45 -0700

He landed at Imhotep Charter, of the Philadelphia Public League, and spent two seasons as Imhotep's quarterbacks coach and another two as its offensive coordinator – the latter two seasons resulting in a PIAA Class AA championship and a state runner-up ...

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