Iowa announces 2020 high school football classifications and districts

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The new face of Iowa high school football 2020 season is set. The Iowa High School Athletic Association has announced its classifications and districts for the fall.

Class 4A, the state’s largest classification, is shrinking by two teams from 42 to 40. The IAHSAA has elected to eliminate districts in 4A in favor of a “tiered system” that is designed to make the class competitively balanced.

2020 Iowa 4A Group and Assigned Games

Below how the IAHSAA describes the new system for grouping teams:

CLASS 4A SUCCESS MODEL SCHEDULE

  • The new success model used for Class 4A was designed with the intent of adding competitive games to regular season scheduling of the large-school class. It measures a program’s last four years of football through: a) Ratings Percentage Index; b) Playoff Success.
  • The results of that model are available HERE.
    • The model used ranking within the RPI and ranking of “points” in playoff success (5 for championship, 4 for runner-up, 3 for semifinal appearance, 2 for quarterfinal appearance, and 1 for playoff appearance).
  • Teams are tiered by their ranking within the model. Tier 1 is teams ranked #1-7, Tier 2 is teams ranked #8-13, Tier 3 is teams ranked #14-20, Tier 4 is teams ranked #21-27, Tier 5 is teams ranked #28-34, and Tier 6 is teams ranked #35-40.
  • Every group contains a team from within each tier. Group schedules are designed for teams to play similarly tiered teams. Unlike district play, group play is not round robin. Group contests are as follows…
    • Tier 1: Plays Tiers 2, 3, and 4.
    • Tier 2: Plays 1, 3, and 5.
    • Tier 3: Plays 1, 2, and 6.
    • Tier 4: Plays 1, 5, and 6.
    • Tier 5: Plays 2, 4, and 6.
    • Tier 6: Plays 3, 4, and 5.
  • In addition to group games arranged by tiers, Class 4A teams will play two “assigned games” against teams from similar tiers of other groups. Teams from Tiers 1 and 2 are together, Tiers 3 and 4 are together, and Tiers 5 and 6 are together.
  • Two groups have five teams instead of six with the model omitting one Tier 2 and one Tier 6 team. Assigned games due to the schedule gap have been added from approved tiers.
  • The five total group and assigned games may not be scheduled consecutively as they are in district play.
  • In the group format, there are no district champions or group champions. All 16 playoff qualifying spots will be considered at-large through RPI.
  • Through BEDS numbers, one school has been added to 40-team field in Class 4A: Iowa City, Liberty.
    • Iowa City, Liberty was a playoff qualifier in Class 3A and joins Tier 3.
    • Waukee Northwest will begin 4A varsity play in 2021.

There’s no change in the number of playoff qualifiers. Once again, each classification will have 16 playoff teams.

Class 4A

Group 1

Dowling Catholic

Urbandale

Fort Dodge

Des Moines Roosevelt

Council Bluff Abraham Lincoln

Sioux City North

Group 2

Ankeny Centennial

Iowa City Liberty

Ames

Marshalltown

Des Moines East

Group 3

West Des Moines Valley

Ankeny

Indianola

Sioux City East

Council Bluffs Thomas Jefferson

Sioux City West

Group 4

Cedar Falls

Cedar Rapids

Dubuque

Davenport Central

Dubuque Hempstead

Davenport West

Group 5

Waukee

Johnston

Linn-Mar Marion

Waterloo West

Cedar Rapids Jefferson

Group 7

Bettendorf

Cedar Rapids Kennedy

Pleasant Valley

Muscatine

Davenport North

Ottumwa

Class 3A

District 1

Boyden-Hull/Rock Valley

Le Mars

Sergeant Bluff-Luton

Sioux City Heelan

Spencer

Storm Lake

District 2

Ballard

Boone

Humboldt

Gilbert

Mason City

Webster City

District 3

Charles City

Decorah

Waterloo East

Waverly-Shell Rock

West Delaware

Western Dubuque

District 4

Clinton

Davenport Assumption

DeWitt Central

Dubuque Wahlert

Marion

North Scott

District 5

Burlington

Fairfield

Fort Madison

Keokuk

Mount Pleasant

Washington

District 6

Benton Community

Cedar Rapids Xavier

Clear Creek-Amana

Grinnell

Newton

Oskaloosa

District 7

Bondurant-Farrar

Carlisle

Knoxville

Pella

Nevada

North Polk

District 8

Adel ADM

Dallas Center-Grimes

Des Moines Hoover

Norwalk

Perry

Winterset

District 9

Carroll

Creston/O-M

Denison-Schleswig

Glenwood

Harlan

Lewis Central

Class 2A

District 1

Central Lyon/George-Little Rock

MOC-Floyd Valley

Sheldon

Sioux Center

Unity Christian

West Lyon

District 2

Algona

Cherokee

Estherville-Lincoln Central

Garner GHV

Okoboji

Spirit Lake

District 3

Clear Lake

Forest City

Hampton-Dumont-CAL

Iowa Falls-Alden

Roland-Story

West Marshall

District 4

Crestwood

Independence

New Hampton

North Fayette Valley

Oelwein

Waukon

District 5

Anamosa

Camanche

Maquoketa

Monticello

Tipton

West Liberty

District 6

Center Point-Urbana

Mount Vernon

Solon

South Tama

Union

Vinton-Shellsburg

District 7

Central Lee

Davis County

Eddyville EBF

Mid-Prairie

West Burlington/Notre Dame

Williamsburg

District 8

Albia

Centerville

Chariton

Clarke

Monroe PCM

Saydel

District 9

Atlantic

Clarinda

Des Moines Christian

Greene County

Red Oak

Shenandoah

Class 1A

District 1

Emmetsburg

Hinton

Sibley-Ocheyedan

Sioux Central

West Sioux

Western Christian

District 2

Belmond-Klemme

Clarion CGD

Eagle Grove

Pocahontas Area

South Central Calhoun

Southeast Valley

District 3

Aplington-Parkersburg

Dike-New Hartford

East Marshall

Hudson

South Hamilton

South Hardin

District 4

Central Springs

Denver

Jesup

Osage

Sumner-Fredericksburg

Waterloo Columbus

District 5

Cascade

Durant

Dyersville Beckman

Northeast

West Branch

Wilton

District 6

Cardinal

Louisa-Muscatine

Mediapolis

Pekin

Sigourney-Keota

Van Buren County

District 7

Central Decatur

Colfax-Mingo

Interstate 35

Mount Ayr

Pella Christian

Pleasantville

District 8

Carroll Kuemper

Guthrie Center ACGC

Panorama

Van Meter

West Central Valley

Woodward-Granger

District 9

East Sac County

Ida Grove OABCIG

Mapleton MVAOCOU

Missouri Valley

Treynor

Underwood

Class A

District 1

Akron-Westfield

Hartley HMS

Lawton-Bronson

Le Mars Gehlen

Marcus MMCRU

South O’Brien

District 2

Algona Garrigan

Alta-Aurelia

Fort Dodge St. Edmond

Manson Northwest Webster

North Union

West Hancock

District 3

Lake Mills

Mason City Newman

Nashua-Plainfield

North Butler

Saint Ansgar

West Fork

District 4

Clayton Ridge

MFL MarMac

Postville

South Winneshiek

Starmont

Wapsie Valley

District 5

Alburnett

Bellevue

East Buchanan

Edgewood-Colesburg

Maquoketa Valley

North Linn

District 6

Columbus Community

Highland

Iowa City Regina

Lisbon

North Cedar

Wapello

District 7

Belle Plaine

Conrad BCLUW

Grundy Center

Lynnville-Sully

North Mahaska

North Tama

District 8

Earlham

Madrid

Nodaway Valley

Ogden

Wayne

Woodward Academy

District 9

Avoca AHSTW

Council Bluffs St. Albert

Oakland Riverside

Sidney

Southwest Valley

Tri-Center

District 10

IKM-Manning

Logan-Magnolia

Ridge View

West Monona

Westwood

Woodbury Central

8-Player

District 1

Graettinger GTRA

Harris-Lake Park

Kingsley-Pierson

Newell-Fonda

Remsen St. Mary’s

River Valley

Siouxland Christian/Whiting

West Bend-Mallard

District 2

Ackley AGWSR

Clarksville

Janesville

Northwood-Kensett

North Iowa

Riceville

Rockford

Tripoli

Turkey Valley

District 3

Central City

Don Bosco

Dunkerton

Easton Valley

Elkader Central

Lansing Kee

Midland

Springville

West Central

District 4

English Valleys

Lone Tree

Montezuma

Moravia

New London

Tri-County

Twin Cedars

WACO

Winfield-Mount Union

District 5

Baxter

BGM

Collins-Maxwell

Colo-Nesco

Gladbrook-Reinbeck

GMG

HLV

Iowa Valley

Meskwaki

District 6

Grand View Christian

Lamoni

Martensdale-St. Marys

Melcher-Dallas

Mormon Trail

Murray

Seymour

Southeast Warren

District 7

Anita CAM

Bedford

East Mills

East Union

Fremont-Mills

Griswold

Lenox

Sidney (pending appeal)

Stanton

District 8

Ar-We-Va

Audubon

Boyer Valley

Coon Rapids-Bayard

Exira-EHK

Glidden-Ralston

West Harrison

Woodbine

Related: 2019 Iowa Top 10

About the Author

Jeff Fisher
Jeff is an award-winning journalist and expert in the field of high school sports, underscored with his appearance on CNBC in 2010 to talk about the big business of high school football in America. Jeff turned to his passion for high school football into an entrepreneurial venture called High School Football America, a digital media company focused on producing original high school sports content for radio, television and the internet. Jeff is co-founder and editor-in-chief of High School Football America, which is a media partner with USA TODAY High School Sports.