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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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7 news items

Bucks County Courier Times
Wed, 22 Oct 2014 20:00:00 -0700

A day later, all of the hard work finally paid off as the Tigers edged Franklin Towne Charter from the Philadelphia Public League 1-0 in the last game of the season. “It was a spirited contest,” Kinloch said. “It was really good. It was our Senior ...

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 18:07:30 -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

Singles: 1. Emma Lipschutz (M) def. Molly Smith 6-1, 6-1; 2. Zora Charles (M) def. Caitlin Hoos 6-1, 6-1; 3. Mona Zhang (M) def. Nadia Schimony 6-1, 7-5. Doubles: 1. Hanna Basilii and Abigail Pinder (LC) def. Julienne Weller and Neena Hagen 6-3, 7-5; 2.
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 ...
Fri, 12 Sep 2014 11:07:33 -0700

... 7:00 — The home team is 0-2, including a loss last week to George Washington. Don't read too much into that, however, because GW is projected as the Philadelphia Public League favorite with several D-1 recruits. Truman came up just short against ...

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