The Iowa High School Athletic Association on Friday announced a series of changes to the 2020 football schedule, as the organization tries to give Iowa's high school programs some flexibility amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
2020 season revisions
The revised 2020 regular season will be seven weeks long, with teams allowed to schedule either five, six, or seven games within that time frame. The first games can be played Aug. 27.
Perhaps the biggest change to 2020 is that all teams in each of the six classes will qualify for the postseason, with playoff brackets for each class going six rounds. The IHSAA will use geography, team availability, and quality to choose postseason pairings. That formula is scheduled to be used only in 2020.
The first two weeks will both be optional dates, and schools in 11-man football can determine their own opponents and whether the program will play in those weeks.
For district games teams in Classes A, 1A, 2A, and 3A will play their scheduled district games in their currently scheduled order, starting in the third week.
Class 4A teams will be allowed to schedule their own regular season games, and the previously announced group format will not be used this season.
Eight-player teams will play Week 3 through Week 9 of their announced schedules. Teams will be allowed to opt out of their scheduled opponents in weeks one and two, but cannot change opponents or location without approval.
Ratings Percentage Index
The RPI formula will not be used in 2020 for seeding or at-large berths, since all teams qualify for the postseason.
IHSAA member school will announce whether their teams will participate in the 2020 football season by August 17.
Any team that is forced to miss games due to a positive COVID-19 test will not be given a loss or a forfeit. The game will be a "no-contest", and will not be played.
Out of state games
Any team with a scheduled out-of-state opponent can try to reschedule those games for Week One or Week Two.
The first day of practice is still scheduled for Aug. 10, with Week One taking place on Aug. 27. The dates for the state semifinals are still Nov. 13-15, and the state finals will be Nov. 20-21.
The first week of the postseason is scheduled for Oct. 16.
Shane Lantz covers sports for the Globe Gazette. You can reach him at Shane.Lantz@GlobeGazette.com, or by phone at 641-421-0526. Follow Shane on Twitter @ShaneMLantz.
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