There are a lot of different plans and ideas floating around about the return of football in the fall, for those states still considering that as an option. One glaring absence in a lot of the communications that I have come across has remained a huge unaddressed question mark though – What happens to the game that was scheduled the event of a positive test?

Will games be forfeited? Will teams be penalized? The questions go on an on, with no definitive answers given.

Until now. Iowa actually has released a plan for those games cancelled because of a positive test (or tests).

Under the MISSING GAMES portion of their press release, Iowa notes their strategy:

MISSING GAMES: Due to the potential of positive COVID-19 cases forcing players and teams to miss games in the 2020 regular season, the revised plan does not penalize teams with a loss or forfeit due to state, county, or local health department determinations. A missed game due to COVID-19 will be considered a “no contest” and will not be made up. Teams may work with the IHSAA and new possible opponents should they have open dates due to scheduled opponents missing games.

I imagine that other states still planning to move forward with football (and sports in general) in the fall will adopt a similar approach, and playoff systems will have to adjust for the COVID era – and we all hope that is as short-lived as possible.

Other notable takeaways from Iowa’s announcement:

  • 7-week regular season with the option for teams to schedule 5, 6, or.7 games in that time frame
  • Weeks 1 and 2 will be optional games
  • All teams will be allowed entry into the postseason

See their full release below.


IOWA HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL: 2020 REVISED SCHEDULE

 

To better prepare for the 2020 varsity football season, the IHSAA developed a revised schedule plan which allows for member school adjustments due to COVID-19. Football remains the only Iowa high school sport with regular season schedules and postseason qualifying managed by the IHSAA. The revised plan considers flexibility for school return concerns, geography, postseason qualifying, transportation, and possible COVID-19 cases as rationale for changing previously announced varsity football schedules.

The first practice (August 10) and first competition (August 27) dates are currently unchanged in this revision, as are the weeks for state semifinals (November 13-15) and finals (November 20-21).

This revised plan was approved by the Board of Control on Friday. The IHSAA plans to release further fall season and sport-specific guidance next week. Team schedules will be compiled and released when available.

2020 Scheduling Plan

REGULAR SEASON: A seven-week regular season will be conducted. Teams will have the option of scheduling five, six, or seven games within those seven weeks.

POSTSEASON: All teams in all classes will qualify for the postseason. Brackets will consist of six rounds for each classification. The IHSAA will determine postseason pairings with geography, quality, and team availability as primary considerations. This is intended to be a one-time measure for postseason formatting.

OPTIONAL DATES: Week 1 and Week 2 will be optional game dates. Opponents, locations, and participation may determined by member schools in 11-player football.

RPI FORMULA: With all teams allowed entry into the postseason, the Ratings Percentage Index will not be utilized in 2020 to determine at-large berths or seeding.

DISTRICT GAMES: Teams in Classes 3A, 2A, 1A, and A will play their scheduled district games in the previously established order. This change means the prior Week 5 becomes Week 3, Week 6 becomes Week 4, etc., in this revised plan.

CLASS 4A: Participating schools will schedule their own regular season games. The previously announced group format and success model will not be implemented in 2020. The IHSAA encourages conferences to collaborate in creating their schedules.

EIGHT-PLAYER: Teams will play Week 3 through Week 9 of their previously announced schedules in what is now Week 1 through Week 7. Due to the number of teams in the classification, Eight-Player has opponents scheduled on the optional dates of Week 1 and Week 2. Teams in Eight-Player may opt out of those contests, but may not change opponents or locations unless an agreement is reached with all participating teams and the IHSAA.

MISSING GAMES: Due to the potential of positive COVID-19 cases forcing players and teams to miss games in the 2020 regular season, the revised plan does not penalize teams with a loss or forfeit due to state, county, or local health department determinations. A missed game due to COVID-19 will be considered a “no contest” and will not be made up. Teams may work with the IHSAA and new possible opponents should they have open dates due to scheduled opponents missing games.

OUT OF STATE GAMES: Teams with scheduled games against out of state opponents may attempt to reschedule those contests during the optional Week 1 or Week 2.

TEAM PARTICIPATION: Providing for start dates as currently scheduled, the IHSAA requests member schools state their intent to participate in football’s regular season and postseason by August 17.

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Content manager - Doug took the reins in 2011 and the website has been better ever since. A former college player and small college coach, Doug now serves as the head coach at Comstock Park HS (MI).