High School Football Regular Season Shortened; All Teams in Playoffs

July 24, 2020 5:04pm

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All Iowa High School football teams will qualify for the playoffs in 2020.  The Iowa High School Athletic Association announced the change effective for this coming season only after the Board of Control approved the plan today (Friday).  In order to accommodate six rounds of playoffs instead of the usual four, the regular season for all teams has been reduced to a maximum of seven games instead of nine. 

The temporary plan is designed to allow teams to possibly miss games on their schedule due to COVID-19 without hurting its chances of making the playoffs. Any games missed will not be rescheduled. Under the new plan, the first practice date of August 10, first competition date of August 27 and the state championship dates of November 20-21 are unchanged.

Teams in Classes A, 1A, 2A and 3A were set to begin their 5 game district schedule in week 5.  The order and sites of those games remain unchanged, however, those games will run weeks 3-7.  Schools in those four classes now have the option of scheduling games in weeks 1 and/or 2 if they choose to do so.

Eight Player teams were slated to start their seven game district schedule in week 3.  Those games will now run from weeks 1-7, but schools can choose to opt out of games in week 1 and/or 2 even without a COVID situation.

In Class 4A, which does not have a district format, schools will be allowed to create their entire seven week schedule.

The option is open for schools to not participate in football at all in 2020. All schools have until August 17th to indicate their intentions for the upcoming season.  The IHSAA also plans to help teams find another opponent if a team on their new schedule winds up missing games. The state association will compile the new schedules and release them when they are available.