Iowa High School Football Coaches Propose Eight Class System

According to multiple reports, the Iowa Football Coaches Association (IFBCA) will propose Iowa High School Football move to eight class system. 

The proposal from the IFBCA includes splitting Class 4A into two separate classes (4A & 5A) and adding a second 8-player class. According to the IFBCA, this proposed plan was chosen from a list of options provided by the (IHSAA) and is pending the association’s approval. 

Through the years, Iowa High School Football has evolved with expansions. In 1981, the IHSAA went from a 4-class playoff system to five when Class A was added. In 1998, Iowa revived 8-player football that hadn’t been played since the 1950s — 6-player football was also played but dropped. 8-player football was added to the playoff system in 2000, and in 2012, 3A, 2A, and 1A were set to 56 teams to expand Class A. 

The proposed change would look like this –

  1. 5A – 24 teams 
  2. 4A – 24 teams 
  3. 3A – 48 teams 
  4. 2A – 48 teams 
  5. 1A – 48 teams 
  6. A – Everyone under the 48 teams in Class 1A until 8-player eligible at 130 on the BEDS document (schools’ enrollment in grades 9,10,11 from the previous year). 
  7. 8-Player Upper Half 
  8. 8-Player Lower Half 

The BEDS document used for the 2020-2021 classifications can be found here. 

The IHSAA has not commented on the report and given no indication change is coming to Iowa High School Football. 

What would change for area teams? Well, that won’t be determined until the BEDS document for 2020-2021 – used for 2021-2022 classifications is released. 

If this system was in place last year here’s where our area teams would’ve played.

Mason City – 4A

Clear Lake – 2A

Forest City – 2A

GHV – 2A

Osage – 1A

Belmond-Klemme – 1A

Central Spring – A

Lake Mills – A

West Hancock – A

Saint Ansgar – A

Northwood-Kensett – 8-player upper

Newman Catholic – 8-player upper

Bishop-Garrigan – 8-player upper

North Iowa – 8-player lower



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