Prep Football

2021 Iowa high school football: 7 classes

New 5A will consist of 36 teams, based on enrollment, as will 4A and 3A

Cedar Rapids Kennedy, led by Coach Brian White, is one of several Metro and Iowa City schools that will move to Class 5A
Cedar Rapids Kennedy, led by Coach Brian White, is one of several Metro and Iowa City schools that will move to Class 5A for the 2021 football season. (Jim Slosiarek/The Gazette)

The Iowa Football Coaches Association wanted eight classes. It got seven.

Thursday, the Iowa High School Athletic Association Board of Control approved and accepted what it called “the lone recommendation out of recent meetings of the joint IHSAA/IGHSAU classification committee,” adding one classification of football for the 2021 season.

The new classification, which consists of the state’s largest 36 schools in terms of enrollment, will be called Class 5A, in an effort “to reduce the disparity in enrollment in the IHSAA’s largest class of football, and to increase the number of participating teams and student-athletes in the postseason,” according to Thursday’s IHSAA release.

The Board also approved separate scheduling and playoff plans across the seven football classifications:

• Class 5A, 4A and 3A: 36 teams, 9 regular-season games, 16 playoff qualifiers.

• Class 2A and 1A: 48 teams, 8 regular-season games, 32 playoff qualifiers.

• Class A: Remainder of 11-player teams, 8 regular-season games, 32 playoff qualifiers.

• 8-Player: 8 regular-season games, 32 playoff qualifiers.

All non-playoff teams in 2A, 1A, A and 8-Player are permitted to play a ninth regular-season game.

The IFCA had requested two 8-Player classes, split equally by enrollment.

With Waukee’s split to two schools next year, the likely “big schools” to play Class 4A football would be Ottumwa, Davenport North, Fort Dodge, Indianola and Iowa City Liberty.

Comments: (319) 368-8857; jeff.linder@thegazette.com

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