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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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Delco News Network
Thu, 18 Dec 2014 06:48:45 -0800

Playing its season opening game last Friday evening against visiting John Bartram (Philadelphia Public League), the Lady Bucs missed more than a few shots from the field, and 25 (yes, 25) foul shots. But when all was said and done, the home team was ...
Mon, 15 Dec 2014 07:00:00 -0800

Not scheduled to play on any of the PIAA's first 10 allowable dates, Moore's high-octane Generals will open their much-anticipated 2014-15 season tonight at home against Philadelphia Public League playmate Del-Val Charter. Then, later this week, ...

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Mon, 08 Dec 2014 19:05:17 -0800

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Mon, 08 Dec 2014 09:11:02 -0800

In Friday's tilt with Bodine, a solid Philadelphia Public League program, Becker chalked up 13 points and junior forward Sunny Reardon scored six, but the Tigers couldn't contain junior guard Tiana Garvin of the visiting side. She logged a game-high 19 ...


Thu, 04 Dec 2014 18:26:08 -0800

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Wed, 10 Dec 2014 14:45:21 -0800

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