There are major changes coming in Lancaster-Lebanon League football.
The league’s athletic association on Thursday voted to expand to four sections, with a crossover game and four nonleague games, for the 2020 and 2021 seasons.
The crossover game — which will be determined by winning percentage over the last three seasons — will be in Week Five. Teams can schedule nonleague games for Week One through Week Four. The head-to-head section games will be from Week Six through Week 10.
The sections will be set up like this:
SECTION ONE: Cedar Crest, Hempfield, Manheim Township, McCaskey, Penn Manor, Wilson.
SECTION TWO: Cocalico, Conestoga Valley, Elizabethtown, Manheim Central, Solanco, Warwick.
SECTION THREE: Ephrata, Donegal, Garden Spot, Lancaster Catholic, Lebanon, Lampeter-Strasburg.
SECTION FOUR: Annville-Cleona, Columbia, Elco, Northern Lebanon, Octorara, Pequea Valley.
“This is the best thing for the league right now,” said Lancaster Catholic athletic director Rich Hinnenkamp, president of the L-L AD association. “This will give programs like Lebanon and Ephrata the chance to take a step back up to where they want to be. This was a debate the whole way. There were a lot of options on the table.”
In the end, the league went with four sections of six teams each, with one mandatory crossover game and four nonleague games. So programs will be tasked with finding a Week Four nonleague opponent. That's new.
“I don’t think that’s going to be a problem,” Hinnenkamp said. “We’ve all been lining each other up, so you might see a lot of L-L vs. L-L games that week.”
Hinnenkamp said another deciding factor was helping out the smaller programs, who will now have their own head-to-head Section Four games.
“(Currently) having 10 teams in Section Three is not good for our smaller schools,” Hinnenkamp said. “The L-L is a big-school league, so we’re hoping this move makes a difference for our smaller schools.”