The high school football season starts this week with a couple dozen games on Thursday and Friday night. Iowa High School Athletic Association spokesman Bed Legg says some teams are starting this early to make the schedule work. Legg says they will take some time off later in the year, unless they have a 10-game schedule.
He says some the teams are starting earlier to be able to have most of them play a nine-game schedule, and says it’s a quirk of the schedule that they have to start this early. Legg says it’s a matter of numbers in each class and it goes from the smaller schools to the largest. He says there’s an imbalance of teams in 4-A, especially on the west side of the state, which almost ensures the teams will have a week off.
Some teams on the borders are still able to play games with nearby out-of-state teams. Legg says they allow that to happen as long at it doesn’t impact an Iowa school’s scheduled and keep them from having nine games. Legg says there won’t be a lot of rule changes that people will notice.
Leggs says the biggest change is in the on-side kicks, as there has to be an even number of people on each side of the kick. The idea is to prevent teams from knocking other players down and it’s aimed at preventing injuries. The teams were reclassified this year.
There are 47 schools in Class 4A; 64 teams in each 3A, 2A, and 1A; 51 teams in Class A and 65 in 8-Player for a total of 355. The total represent a decrease of 1 in 4A (Newton goes to 3A); the number in classes 3A, 2A and 1A remain the same; a decrease of 7 is in Class A, and there is an increase of 6 in 8-player over the 2009.
By John Martenson, KGRN, Grinnell