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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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325 news items


Tue, 03 Mar 2015 20:41:10 -0800

In the Philadelphia Public League, 12 schools have qualified bowlers. Central leads all Public League schools, sending its boy team, one individual girl and four individual boys to regionals. Randolph has two individual boys participating and Girls ...

Allentown Morning Call

Allentown Morning Call
Mon, 23 Mar 2015 20:04:15 -0700

Everyone knew that when Philadelphia's Public League first competed for PIAA championships in 2004-05, things were going to change. But few knew how drastic those changes would be. cComments. David-Allentown... I guess you haven't been going to ...
City of Basketball Love
Wed, 04 Feb 2015 13:25:23 -0800

The Philadelphia Public League's regular season is over, and now the 40 teams remaining will battle it out for the championship. Sammy Foreman (above) and Martin Luther King are looking to repeat as Public League champions. (Photo: Josh ...

CBS Local

CBS Local
Sat, 07 Mar 2015 19:48:26 -0800

The Saints have devoured their last two opponents, Philadelphia Public League champ Imhotep Charter and Trinity High School, by a combined 148-65. The Saints are the nation's No. 1 team—and have become increasingly more dangerous as the season ...
Mon, 23 Mar 2015 16:19:00 -0700

It also didn't help that eight of the 16 finalists were from Philadelphia Public League and Catholic League schools, which don't draw strong followings, and that the Cumberland Valley girls were the only Central Pennsylvania finalist. But Lombardi had ...
Thu, 19 Mar 2015 18:56:44 -0700

This is what the WPIAL and everyone else, for that matter, feared when the Philadelphia Public League joined the PIAA in 2003 and the Philadelphia Catholic League followed in '07. Philly had a long-standing and well-deserved reputation for playing ...
Thu, 19 Mar 2015 20:56:15 -0700

Philadelphia Catholic League rivals Archbishop Carroll and Neumann-Goretti play for the Class AAA championship, while Philadelphia Catholic League power Roman Catholic plays a Philadelphia Public League team in Martin Luther King in Class AAAA.


Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Fri, 20 Mar 2015 20:33:45 -0700

Constitution (24-8), a Philadelphia Public League team, took 70 shots in the game to only 44 for Farrell (24-5). Constitution also outrebounded Farrell, 54-25. Ahmad Gilbert, 6-foot-7 senior forward, had 28 points and 11 rebounds for Constitution ...

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