FAQs: Holy Ghost Prep's decision to pursue independence

What prompted the HGP Board of Trustees and school leadership to make the decision to move out of the BAL?

Several factors played into the decision. First, Devon Prep’s recent departure from the BAL and now Lower Moreland and New Hope-Solebury’s decisions to leave after this season was a factor. Second, playing independent schedules allows us to remain in the PIAA district and state playoffs while building more competitive schedules in each sport. And third, being independent gives us flexibility to continue to investigate new league possibilities in what is an ever-changing Philadelphia area athletic landscape.


Will HGP, once the school leaves the BAL, stay in the PIAA and remain eligible for district and state competition?

Yes, HGP will remain in the PIAA and will be eligible for district and state competition.


How does this impact HGP’s ability to make the playoffs?

It does not and, in fact, it may put the team in a better position. Most teams qualify for District One competition using a mathematical power ranking formula (soccer, basketball, baseball, lacrosse), qualifying times (swimming, track and field, cross country), qualifying tournaments (golf) or through district-wide seeding meetings (tennis). League play is not part of the formula to determine district competition qualification.


Who are the teams that we will play?

HGP teams currently play a variety of schools from the Suburban One League, Philadelphia Catholic League, Bicentennial League as well as schools in Delaware and New Jersey. We anticipate our schedules will continue to be against many of the teams we currently play, plus additional games against other teams from Philadelphia area independent schools.


Do we have plans to join another league someday?

By creating an independent schedule, HGP will be in the best position possible to react to opportunities that might exist in the future. This might include joining a league that exists today or creating a brand new league.


What does this mean for my son’s team?

Six of our teams—lacrosse, rowing, ultimate frisbee, swimming, indoor track, and ice hockey—already compete outside the BAL. Nothing changes for those teams. For our other teams, the athletic director and coaches will build a schedule to play teams in the Philadelphia metropolitan area, New Jersey and Delaware. These scheduling conversations have already begun.


What does this mean for longstanding BAL athletic rivalries?

Holy Ghost Prep has been a proud member of the BAL since the 1970s. Our independent status will allow us to develop some new rivalries, while still giving us the opportunity to schedule some games against our long-time rivals too.


What happens to the BAL trophies and banners?

HGP maintains all of our previous team trophies and banners for display on campus, at reunions and at special events.


Does HGP intend to add any additional sports?

At this time, we do not intend to add additional scholastic sports teams.


Does this mean that we will play teams far away and that we will play more road games?

Holy Ghost Prep teams already travel to areas throughout the Philadelphia region. We estimate the travel will be about the same as today.


If I have any more questions, who should I contact?

You should always feel empowered to speak with the coach of your son’s team or contact our Athletic Director Craig Conlin.