OSKALOOSA — With the nation still dealing with the effects of an ongoing pandemic, the IHSAA Board of Control announced a revised plan for the upcoming high school football season.
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).
The regular season has been cut down to seven weeks with teams having the option to schedule five, six or seven games within those seven weeks.
That means teams will play all of their scheduled district games in the previously established order. But, schools will also have the option of scheduling their own non-district games to fill out the seven game schedule.
The bombshell of the announcement was that they are changing the postseason, allowing every team to qualify for the postseason with the playoffs starting on Oct. 16.
Brackets will consist of six rounds for each classification with the IHSAA determining the postseason pairings based on geography, quality and team availability.
They also assured that this change is intended to be a one-time measure for this season.
The Ratings Percentage Index that they have utilized the past two seasons, will not be be used this year.
Due to the potential of positive COVID-19 tests among teams, the IHSAA will not penalize teams for missing a game due to positive cases. Instead of being a loss or forfeit, the game will be considered a “no contest” and will not be made up.
The IHSAA plans to release further fall season and sport-specific guidance next week. Team schedules will be compiled and released when available.