Prep Football

IHSAA will consider proposal for expanded Iowa high school football playoffs

Tabled proposal includes 8-game regular season, 32 teams in playoffs in all classes but 4A

Western Dubuque players celebrate winning the Class 3A state football championship in November at the UNI-Dome in Cedar
Western Dubuque players celebrate winning the Class 3A state football championship in November at the UNI-Dome in Cedar Falls. (Jim Slosiarek/The Gazette)

BOONE — The Iowa High School Athletic Association will consider a proposal to expand the prep football playoffs to 32 teams per class, it said during its December meeting Thursday.

The Iowa Football Coaches Association sent two proposals to the IHSAA for expanded playoffs, with one being outright rejected. That would have had schools playing a nine-game regular season and five rounds of playoffs with six days between games.

The other proposal, which the IHSAA is temporarily tabling in order to do more research, would have an eight-game regular season and five rounds of playoffs, with playoff games up to the semifinals remaining on Fridays.

The proposal would have 32 teams qualify in 8-Player, Class A, 1A, 2A and 3A. It is undetermined what would happen in Class 4A, which has only 42 schools.

“We appreciate the advisory committee’s recommendations and the work the committee has done to reach those recommendations,” IHSAA executive director Tom Keating said, “The board has decided to table action on playoff qualifiers in order to address all classes at the same time.”

The IHSAA’s football playoffs expanded from 16 qualifiers per class to 32 in 2008. The playoff field went back to 16 in 2016.

The IHSAA is expected to act on the proposal at its January meeting.

Comments: (319) 398-8259; jeff.johnson@thegazette.com

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