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FOOTBALL

New districts released; Iowa football playoffs evolve

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An eventful Wednesday at the Iowa High School Athletic Association in Boone resulted in several changes to the prep football landscape.

At the top of the list for its member schools was the release of district assignments in all six classes. In Classes 3-A, 2-A, 1-A and A, the IHSAA heeded recommendations by its football advisory committee and dropped the number of districts from eight to seven.

The IHSAA previously voted to reduce the number of playoff qualifiers in each class from 32 to 16. Therefore, in 3-A down to Class A, the move to seven districts of eight teams opens the door for two at-large berths in those classes. Five criteria will be used to determine the at-large teams: one, anyone considered a district champion. Two, best district record. Three, head-to-head competition (district or non-district). Four, 17-point tiebreaker differential. Five, random draw.

The 17-point tiebreaker differential also is a change. Previously, the maximum tiebreaker differential was 13, but the IHSAA changed it to reflect a three-score difference in a game.

In Class 4-A and Eight-Man, eight districts have been formed, meaning the district champion and runner-up will advance to the playoffs.

The IHSAA’s Board of Control made two other changes Wednesday. It voted to return to a bracket system for the postseason. In the past two years, the IHSAA waited for the results from each round before posting the next round’s matchups.

It also eliminated the 125-mile travel limitation for first-round playoff games. The reduction in playoff qualifiers allows for first-round games on Friday nights instead of Wednesday, a school night, thus the lift on the travel limitation.

Here are the assignments in districts involving schools in The World-Herald’s western Iowa coverage area:

Class 4-A

District 1: Des Moines East, Des Moines Roosevelt, Johnson, Sioux City East, Sioux City North, Waukee.

District 2: Ames, Ankeny Centennial, CB Abraham Lincoln, Des Moines Lincoln, Sioux City West, WDM Dowling.

District 3: Ankeny, CB Lewis Central, CB Thomas Jefferson, Des Moines Hoover, Des Moines North, Urbandale.

District 4: Fort Dodge, Indianola, Marshalltown, Newton, Southeast Polk, WDM Valley.

Class 3-A

District 1: Algona, Humboldt, Le Mars, Sergeant Bluff-Luton, Sioux City Heelan, Spencer, Spirit Lake, Storm Lake.

District 7: ADM, Atlantic, Carroll, Creston/O-M, Denison-Schleswig, Glenwood, Harlan, Winterset.

Class 2-A

District 7: Carroll Kuemper, Clarinda, East Sac County, Red Oak, Shenandoah, South Central Calhoun, Southeast Valley, Underwood.

Class 1-A

District 7: AHSTW, Guthrie Center/Adair-Casey, IKM-Manning, Logan-Magnolia, Missouri Valley, OA-BCIG, Treynor, Tri-Center.

Class A

District 1: Akron-Westfield, Lawton-Bronson, Le Mars Gehlen, Maple Valley-Anthon-Oto, West Monona, West Sioux, Westwood, Woodbury Central.

District 7: CB St. Albert, Earlham, Griswold, Martensdale-St. Marys, Nodaway Valley, Riverside, Southeast Warren, Southwest Valley.

Eight-Man

District 6: Bedford, East Union, Lamoni, Lenox, Mormon Trail, Murray, Stanton, Wayne.

District 7: CAM, Clarinda Academy, East Mills, Essex, Exira-EHK, Fremont-Mills, Sidney, Woodbine.

District 8: Ar-We-Va, Audubon, Boyer Valley, Charter Oak-Ute, Coon Rapids-Bayard, Glidden-Ralston, River Valley, West Harrison.

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