• warning: Parameter 2 to ed_classified_link_alter() expected to be a reference, value given in /home/soloneconomist/www/www/includes/common.inc on line 2968.
  • warning: Parameter 2 to ed_classified_link_alter() expected to be a reference, value given in /home/soloneconomist/www/www/includes/common.inc on line 2968.

IHSAA announces changes for 2020 football

CCA gets new district foes, Solon drops, Liberty moves up

BOONE– The Iowa High School Athletic Association (IHSAA) announced significant changes to prep football, starting this year. The association announced the changes Thursday, Feb. 6, after months of study and discussion by its Board of Control.
The biggest change is a shift to a one-year scheduling cycle and implementation of a “success model” for Class 4A (the largest schools). Previously, district assignments from eight-man through Class 4A were for two years, but the IHSAA is moving to a one-year schedule, for 2020, as a one-time measure with reassessment and the potential for additional format changes in 2021.
In a press release, IHSAA Board of Control Chairman Rod Earleywine said, “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. 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.”
Also of note, a change in districts for Solon and Liberty High. Both were in Class 3A with Liberty and Clear Creek Amana (CCA) in the same district. This year however, Solon drops to Class 2A, while Liberty moves up to 4A. Interestingly, Liberty faced (and lost to) Solon in a first-round playoff game last year with CCA’s team cheering on the Bolts against their rivals, the Spartans.
CCA is now in 3A, District 6 with WaMaC rival Benton Community, Grinnell, Newton, Oskaloosa and Mississippi Valley Conference school Cedar Rapids Xavier Catholic.
Solon is in 2A, District 6 with fellow WaMaC schools Center Point-Urbana, Mount Vernon and South Tama County, as well as Union-LaPorte City and Vinton-Shellsburg.
Class 4A will feature 40 teams in seven groups organized for geography and the intention of providing greater competitive balance to scheduling, the press release said. Liberty is in Group 2 with Ankeny Centennial, Ames, Marshalltown and Des Moines East.
“Through this new model, we believe we’ve increased the opportunities for schools to play football against schools like their own. Programs experiencing participation challenges believe this is a way to encourage more students to play,” said Executive Director for the IHSAA Tom Keating.
The 2020 season will continue to schedule nine regular season games with 16 playoff qualifiers in all classes. District champions will still earn automatic berths in the playoffs with the Ratings Percentage Index (RPI) ranking the remaining at-large qualifiers in 3A, 2A, 1A, A and eight-player. All 16 playoff spots in 4A will be considered at-large and determined via RPI.
“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,” Earleywine said. “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.”