Proposal To Cut Football Season To 8 Games - ABC5 News Des Moines, IA

Proposal To Cut Football Season To 8 Games

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By: Claire Powell


The Iowa High School Athletic Association says that high school football players need more time in between games to recover and are proposing to take a regular season game away.

The association says they're looking at this from a safety stand point. Teams who make it through the playoffs play four games in just two weeks. They want more recovery time for players rather than rushing games days apart from each other.

However, coaches don't want to lose that game.

"If I had a vote, I'd leave our season just like it is," said Valley High School Head Football Coach Gary Swenson.

"I think I'd look at something different all together," said Dowling Catholic Football Coach Tom Wilson.

During the playoffs teams who continue to win play Friday, then Wednesday, then Monday, then Friday.  

"You know it takes a toll on the body, and for our kids, it becomes survival of the fittest at times," said Wilson.

"Still lose one key player that can't recover, it makes a difference," said Greg Schoon, Head Football Coach at East High School.

The IHSAA is looking at three options. Leave the season as it is and play those games dangerously close together.  

"Rounds 2, 3 and 4 come in a hurry and the recovery time is probably not adequate physically and it's hard from a preparation stand point," said Swenson.

They could cut the regular season to eight games allowing more space on the calendar to spread out playoff games.

However, schools are afraid they would lose thousands of dollars because of losing a home game they depend on.

"Football financially floats the boat for a lot of athletic departments, so other sports that kids participate in, that may not be a big revenue sport, those start taking away from those programs too," said Wilson.

"It does become a financial concern not to just East or other 4A schools but class A, eight man important to their budget as well," said Schoon.

The association could push the season a week ahead, but that could overlap with a lot of summer activities like the Iowa State Fair, state baseball and school starting

"In many situations you're having a high school football game before school starts, which is not good," said Swenson.

If they pushed the season back, that could jeopardize having the UNI dome home to the championship games.

"UNI is paramount, because playing outside in the cold, is probably not an option," said Swenson.

The association said reducing playoff qualifiers is not an option at least for the next two seasons.

The IHSAA will vote on the proposal next week.



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