Following the Iowa State Board of Education’s approval of a new socioeconomic factor for IHSAA football classifications earlier this month, the Board of Control approved Thursday a lowering of the enrollment cap for Eight-Player football from 120 to 105.
The adjustment is required as all participating schools will now receive an enrollment adjustment for their new classification number – with free and reduced lunch percentages, as detailed in December – and the previous cap of 120 would unbalance Class A and Eight-Player under the new model.
“This change will maintain a similar number of participating teams in Eight-Player and Class A as we’ve previously had, and hopefully provide a clear mark for the smaller schools who may be concerned about whether to compete in 11-player or 8-player football,” IHSAA executive director Tom Keating said.
Other advisory committee recommendations which received approval Thursday:
- Iowa’s experimental rule for intentional grounding has been adopted starting in 2023. The rule, which has been used and monitored for the last three seasons, allows the individual who receives the snap to legally throw the ball away outside of the free blocking zone.
- Starting in 2023, schools in classes 5A, 4A, and 3A who miss a regular season game due to their opponent’s forfeiture will be allowed to schedule a ninth game during Week 10. This would apply to teams that do not qualify for the postseason and cannot find an open opponent to make up that competition date earlier in the season.
- All games must be resolved by Monday of each week following a game. This recommendation was made to address suspended or weather-impacted games which were tied or did not receive a final result. For final regular season games, these games must be resolved by Saturday.
- Postseason hosting criteria will now cite “district losses” instead of the previously listed “district record.” This change will avoid punishing or rewarding teams who may finish with a different number of district games than their fellow postseason qualifiers.
- The IHSAA will issue rankings for classes 2A, 1A, A, and Eight-Player starting in the 2023 regular season. Classes 5A, 4A, and 3A have used RPI for public ranking and postseason seeding since 2018. Basketball has been the first sport to use IHSAA rankings this season, developed with rankings committees to improve postseason assignments and create sport interest.