Classification changes approved by IHSAA Board of Control for 2018 and 2019 football seasons

WEBSTER CITY — Changes are coming to the prep football landscape in the state beginning next fall.

On Wednesday, the Iowa High School Athletic Association’s Board of Control voted to approve recommendations to adjust the classification sizes for the 2018 and 2019 seasons. The IHSAA’s Classification Committee suggested the changes following its September meeting.

The Board of Control voted unanimously to decrease the current number of schools in four of the classes (Class 1A-4A) and raise the enrollment cap for 8-man programs.

Starting next season, the number of 4A schools will be reduced from 48 to 42; 1A, 2A and 3A will all go from 56 to 54 schools. The remaining 11-player teams will compete in Class A.

The 8-man cap increased from 115 to 120 students.

The new classes will be made using the 2017-18 BEDS listing.

The IHSAA says the recommendations were made and approved with six priorities in mind:

•Improved competitive balance.

•The ability to revitalize rivalry games.

•To reduce non-district travel.

•To potentially increase participation at all levels.

• To trim the enrollment gap in 4A.

•To maintain six classes for at least two more years.

At first glance, the big winners are the smallest of the current 4A schools, which will be dropped into 3A next fall. The current 3A schools that will remain, like Webster City, could be affected the most with the influx of bigger schools.