IHSAA’s vote for socioeconomics to be used in football classifications passes

Earlier this month, the Iowa High School Athletic Association announced that it would allow member schools to vote on an amendment to the Articles of Incorporation regarding classification in the sport of football.
The IHSAA says they would like to use socioeconomic to help determine a school’s classification before districts are formed for the 2023 and 2024 football seasons.
A recommendation from the IHSAA’s classification committee went to the IHSAA Board of Control on Monday, December 5, and was approved. With board approval, the next step was membership approval. IHSAA member schools had to cast their vote between Friday, December 16, and Thursday, December 22.
To pass, 50 percent of the total membership (365 schools) or 60 percent of those voting was required.
The results are as follows:
Number of Schools Voting: 263 (72% of membership)
  • Yes: 211 votes
    • 80% of those voting
    • 58% of the membership
  • No: 52 votes
    • 20% of those voting
    • 14% of the membership
According to the IHSAA, legal counsel Brian Humke will develop an updated version of the IHSAA Articles of Incorporation that we will submit to the Iowa State Board of Education for consideration.
“I am preparing a summary of the process used to get us to where we currently are. This is due by December 27 to be placed on the January 12 State Board of Education agenda”, said IHSAA Executive Director Tom Keating.
Should the Iowa State Board of Education approve the amendment, the new model for classification in football will be implemented for the 2023 and 2024 football scheduling cycle.
The proposed model adjusts the IHSAA classification number for all participating schools by factoring school free/reduced lunch (FRL) percentages into the state-provided BEDS (grades 9-11) enrollment.

For the IHSAA’s classification number, FRL percentages must be submitted through the Department of Education, or a school’s BEDS enrollment will not receive an adjustment.

Example: A school’s BEDS enrollment (9-11) for the upcoming school year is 1,000. The district’s FRL percentage is 37%.

  • 1,000 – (0.40 x [1,000 x 0.37])
  • 1,000 – 0.40 x 370
  • 1,000 – 148
  • IHSAA classification number: 852

Pending that approval, the IHSAA Board of Control will review, discuss, and consider IHSAA administrative staff recommendations concerning the Eight-Player enrollment cap, currently at 120 or permitted by exception.


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