To better prepare for the 2020 varsity football season, the IHSAA developed and released a revised schedule plan which allows for member school adjustments due to COVID-19. Football remains the only Iowa high school sport with regular season schedules and postseason qualifying managed by the IHSAA. The revised plan considers flexibility for school return concerns, geography, postseason qualifying, transportation and possible COVID-19 cases as rationale for changing previously announced varsity football schedules.

The first practice (Aug. 10) and first competition (Aug. 27) dates are currently unchanged in this revision, as are the weeks for state semifinals (Nov. 13-15) and finals (Nov. 20-21).

This revised plan was approved by the Board of Control on Friday. The IHSAA plans to release further fall season and sport-specific guidance next week. Team schedules will be compiled and released when available. 

The 2020 scheduling plan includes:

• A seven-week regular season in place as 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. Brackets will consist of six rounds for each classification. The IHSAA will determine postseason pairings with geography, quality and team availability as primary considerations. This is intended to be a one-time measure for postseason formatting.

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

 With all teams allowed entry into the postseason, the Ratings Percentage Index will not be utilized in 2020 to determine at-large berths or seeding.

• 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.

• Eight-player teams will play Week 3-9 of their previously announced schedules in what is now Week 1-7. Due to the number of teams in the classification, Eight-Player has opponents scheduled on the optional dates of Week 1 and Week 2. 

 Due to the potential of positive COVID-19 cases forcing players and teams to miss games in the 2020 regular season, the revised plan does not penalize teams with a loss or forfeit due to state, county or local health department determinations. 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.

Providing for start dates as currently scheduled, the IHSAA requests member schools state their intent to participate in football’s regular season and postseason by Aug. 17.