DES MOINES, Iowa – Following Monday’s Zoom meeting of the IHSAA Board of Control, district and group assignments for the 2023 and 2024 football seasons are now available.

Districts and Class 5A groups are effective for a two-year cycle. The 2023 football season will be the first with a socioeconomic factor added for classifications. Approved this winter by the State Board of Education, the classification adjustment will reduce 40 percent of a school’s free or reduced lunch (FRL) count from their annual enrollment to determine their final classification number.

Classifications, districts and groups, football classification formats, and Class 5A success model information is below.

2023 & 2024 ASSIGNMENTS

Fareway Start Fresh

 

2023 & 2024 FORMAT & PLAYOFF QUALIFYING

Class 5A
  • Teams: 36
  • Groups: 6
  • Teams Per Group: 6
  • Playoff Qualifiers: 16
  • At-Large Berths: 16, RPI
  • Regular Season Games (Per Team): 9
  • Group Games (Per Team): 4
  • Assigned Games (Per Team): 1
  • Non-Group Games (Per Team): 4

 

Class 4A
  • Teams: 36
  • Districts: 6
  • Teams Per District: 6
  • Playoff Qualifiers: 16
  • Automatic Qualifiers: 12, top two per district
  • At-Large Berths: 4, RPI
  • Regular Season Games (Per Team): 9
  • District Games (Per Team): 5
  • Non-District Games (Per Team): 4

 

Class 3A
  • Teams: 36
  • Districts: 6
  • Teams Per District: 6
  • Playoff Qualifiers: 16
  • Automatic Qualifiers: 12, top two per district
  • At-Large Berths: 4, RPI
  • Regular Season Games (Per Team): 9
  • District Games (Per Team): 5
  • Non-District Games (Per Team): 4

 

Class 2A
  • Teams: 48
  • Districts: 8
  • Teams Per District: 6
  • Playoff Qualifiers: 32
  • Automatic Qualifiers: 32, top four per district
  • At-Large Berths: 0, no RPI
  • Regular Season Games (Per Team): 8
  • District Games (Per Team): 5
  • Non-District Games (Per Team): 3
Class 1A
  • Teams: 48
  • Districts: 8
  • Teams Per District: 6
  • Playoff Qualifiers: 32
  • Automatic Qualifiers: 32, top four per district
  • At-Large Berths: 0, no RPI
  • Regular Season Games (Per Team): 8
  • District Games (Per Team): 5
  • Non-District Games (Per Team): 3

 

Class A
  • Teams: 58
  • Districts: 8
  • Teams Per District: 7 or 8
  • Playoff Qualifiers: 32
  • Automatic Qualifiers: 32, top four per district
  • At-Large Berths: 0, no RPI
  • Regular Season Games (Per Team): 8
  • District Games (Per Team): 6 or 7
  • Non-District Games (Per Team): 1 or 2

 

Eight-Player
  • Teams: 69
  • Districts: 10
  • Teams Per District: 6 or 7
  • Playoff Qualifiers: 32
  • Automatic Qualifiers: 30, top three per district
  • At-Large Berths: 2, 17-point differential in district
  • Regular Season Games (Per Team): 8
  • District Games (Per Team): 5 or 6
  • Non-District Games (Per Team): 2 or 3

New in 2023: Classification Adjustment

  • The proposed amendment to the Articles of Incorporation will add a socioeconomic factor to football classifications starting in 2023-24, implementing a formula for free and reduced lunch percentages and school enrollments to determine new final classification numbers.
  • IHSAA staff responded to numerous state board inquiries ahead of the meeting regarding the proposal, which began through a recommendation of the IHSAA classification committee and received “yes” votes from 80 percent of voting schools in December.
  • The classification adjustment will reduce 40 percent of a school’s free or reduced lunch (FRL) count from their annual enrollment to determine their final classification number.
  • Example: A school’s BEDS enrollment (9-11) for the upcoming school year is 1,000. The district’s FRL percentage is 37%.
    • 1,000 – (0.40 x [1,000 x 0.37])
    • 1,000 – 0.40 x 370
    • 1,000 – 148
    • IHSAA classification number: 852
 

More Information…

 

  • Week 1 of the 2023 football season is scheduled to begin Thursday, Aug. 24.
  • Member schools will receive priority lists for non-district opponents.
  • Varsity football schedules will continue to be compiled and created by the IHSAA for this two-year cycle.
  • Teams in 2A, 1A, A, and 8P will be permitted to play a ninth regular season contest should they not qualify for the postseason.
  • Schedules for the 2023 and 2024 seasons will be released in April.

Class 5A Success Model Schedule

  • The success model used for Class 5A was designed with the intent of adding competitive games to regular season scheduling of the largest-school class. It measures a football program’s: a) Four years (2018-19, 21-22) of Ratings Percentage Index; b) Five years (2018-22) of playoff success.
  • 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.
  • Individual school data can be found here.
  • Teams are tiered by their ranking within the model. Tier 1 is teams ranked #1-6, Tier 2 is teams ranked #7-12, Tier 3 is teams ranked #13-18, Tier 4 is teams ranked #19-24, Tier 5 is teams ranked #25-30, and Tier 6 is teams ranked #31-36.
  • Based on feedback from 5A athletic directors, schools near tier lines may be adjusted for geographical considerations.
  • 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.
  • In addition to group games arranged by tiers, Class 5A teams will play one “assigned game” against teams from similar tiers of other groups.
  • In the group format, there are no district champions or group champions. All 16 playoff qualifying spots will be considered at-large through RPI