Prep Football

Iowa high school football will be a 7-week regular-season venture in 2020

The playoffs will begin Oct. 16, and all teams will be eligible for the postseason this year

Cedar Rapids Kennedy football coach Brian White congratulates Nolan Jacobs during a game last season. The Iowa High Scho
Cedar Rapids Kennedy football coach Brian White congratulates Nolan Jacobs during a game last season. The Iowa High School Athletic Association announced sweeping changes for the 2020 season, including a seven-week regular season and expanded playoffs. (David Harmantas/Freelance)

A seven-week regular season. An expanded postseason.

The Iowa High School Athletic Association has revised its 2020 football schedule, “allowing for member school adjustments due to COVID-19,” according to a release.

The plan was approved by the IHSAA Board of Control on Friday.


Practice still begins Aug. 10, and the regular season — which will consist of seven weeks — still begins Aug. 27. Teams will have the option of scheduling five, six or seven games within those seven weeks.

All teams in all classes will qualify for the postseason, which begins Friday, Oct. 16. Brackets will consist of six rounds. The IHSAA said it will “determine postseason pairings with geography, quality and team availability as primary considerations.”

Week 1 and Week 2 will be optional game dates. Opponents, locations and participation may be determined by member schools in 11-player football.

Teams in Classes 3A, 2A, 1A, and A will play their scheduled district games in the previously established order. This change means the prior Week 5 becomes Week 3, Week 6 becomes Week 4, etc., in this revised plan.

In Class 4A, schools will schedule their own regular-season games. The previously announced group format and success model will not be implemented. The IHSAA encourages conferences to collaborate in creating their schedules.

In 8-player, teams will play Week 3 through Week 9 of their previously announced schedules in what is now Week 1 through Week 7.


Due to the potential of positive COVID-19 cases forcing players and teams to miss games, the revised plan will not penalize teams with a loss or forfeit. A missed game due to COVID-19 will be considered a “no contest” and will not be made up. Teams may work with the IHSAA and new possible opponents should they have open dates due to scheduled opponents missing games.

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