Finally, the wait is over, the IHSAA has released information on how the 2020 high school football season will look.
Unfortunately for those wanting an extended playoff, you will have to wait. The IHSAA Board of Control has voted to keep the playoffs at 16 teams. That means the rest of the playoffs will also be the same, the district champion receiving an automatic bid and the rest of the spots will be up for grabs via the RPI system. In addition, the regular season will stay at nine games. Classes 3A, 2A, 1A, and A will play five district games and four non-district games. Eight-man football will play 8/7 district games and 1/2 non-district games. Mason City will see the biggest change in the area, they have moved from Class 4A to Class 3A. Full districts for all local teams can be found at the bottom of this article.
The IHSAA has also announced that while the discussion is ongoing into classifications, the new football districts will be for one year, not the normal two. “We have solicited lots of feedback from our membership and a one-year cycle gives us more time to evaluate that feedback and work on making classifications better,” IHSAA Board of Control chairperson Rod Earleywine said. “It’s never going to be perfect, but we acknowledge that there are problems with our current classification system and we need to see what kind of improvements we can make.”
As mentioned early, 4A will change to groups this year. Class 4A will feature 40 teams in a new regular season arrangement during the 2020 football season. The teams are grouped for geography and with the intention of providing greater competitive balance to scheduling. The groups were organized by measuring a program’s last four years of football results and their last four years of playoff success.
“I commend the committee for the work it has done to this point, and we look forward to the continued work it will do to develop the best competition systems for Iowa. Now that we have a model for Class 4A football, the committee can consider the possibilities and how they may apply to other sports and other classes.” – Rod Earleywine
The classification committee has meant two times since forming to review how schools are classified in Iowa and how the system can be better. The IHSAA says the committee has recently been reviewing the connection between free and reduced lunch counts and recent sports success. They have also reviewed how other states are using alternative classification models. According to the IHSAA, they along with the IGHSAU have been asked by the committee to survey schools regarding competitive equity in athletics. A third classification committee meetings is scheduled for April.
2020 Football Districts
Forest City – Class 2A District 3
Roland-Story, Story City
West Marshall, State Center
West Hancock – Class A District 2
Bishop Garrigan, Algona
Manson Northwest Webster
St. Edmond, Fort Dodge
West Hancock, Britt
Lake Mills – Class A District 3
Newman Catholic, Mason City
North Butler, Greene
West Fork, Sheffield
Garner-Hayfield-Ventura – Class 2A District 2
Estherville Lincoln Central
Belmond-Klemme Class 1A District 2
South Central Calhoun
Southeast Valley, Gowrie
North Iowa, Buffalo Center Eight-man District 2
North Iowa, Buffalo Center
Turkey Valley, Jackson Junction
Central Springs Class 1A District 4
Columbus Catholic, Waterloo
Mason City Class 4A District 2