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 Philadelphia Public League comprised the four public schools that withdrew from the Interscholastic League in – Central, Central Manual, Northeast, and Southern – as well as the addition of West Philadelphia High. Germantown Academy, a private school, joined a few years later, and in 1920 the Philadelphia Public League was born. Overbrook, Frankford, Simon Gratz, Olney, and Roxborough would join the league over the next couple of decades to expand the league.