Here’s how the Iowa high school football class system could change

More changes could be coming to Iowa high school football’s classification structure.

The Iowa High School Athletic Association announced Tuesday that an amendment factoring in socioeconomic status to the IHSAA’s current football classifications will be voted on this month.

The IHSAA’s classification committee recommended a new model that reduces 40% of a school’s free-and-reduced-priced lunch count from its annual enrollment to determine its final classification number. The Minnesota State High School League is currently using a similar model.

The recommendation, for football only, was approved Monday by the IHSAA’s Board of Control. If voted on by all IHSAA member schools — voting will be conducted via email between Dec. 16-22 — the amendment will then be submitted to the Iowa State Board of Education for approval. If approved, the new model would go into effect starting in the 2023-24 school year.

“I want to commend the IHSAA classification committee, the board of control, and the IHSAA staff for their important work on this study and resulting recommendation,” said IHSAA executive director Tom Keating in a statement.  “Our schools have asked us to consider socioeconomic factors in classification and the IHSAA, after much study and discussion, is pleased to offer such a strategy.”

The IHSAA has had many internal conversations about classification over the last several years. The 40%-free-and-reduced lunch model was the first idea that proposed an adjustment to a school’s enrollment figures, the IHSAA said. The conversations primarily centered on football.

As an example, if a school’s 9-11 enrollment for the upcoming school year is 1,000, and the district’s free-and-reduced-lunch percentage is 37%, then that school would reduce its total enrollment by 148 kids, giving them an IHSAA classification number of 852.

Leave a Comment