The Iowa High School Athletic Association (IHSAA) announced last week that changes have been made to the 2020 football season due to the need to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic. A shortened season will be put in place for this year and the IHSAA has put in place a playoff system in which all teams will enter the playoffs.

The plan calls for a seven-week regular season. This is a reduction from the nine games school football programs have been used to for the past several decades. Schools have the option to schedule five, six or seven games within that seven-week time frame.

Preseason practices are set to begin on Aug. 10. The regular season begins on Aug. 27 and runs through Oct. 9. The biggest, and most noticeable, change to this year’s schedule is the fact that the IHSAA has opened up the playoffs to all schools this year. Post-season play will begin on Oct. 16.

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,” stated the IHSAA in its announcement of the new format last week. “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 (in the post-season tournament games.”

Post-season brackets will consist of six rounds in each class. The IHSAA will determine post-season tournament pairings with geography, quality and team availability as primary considerations. “This is intended to be a one-time measure for postseason formatting,” stated the IHSAA.

Since Davis County is in Class 2A in terms of its school classification for football, the Mustangs will use their previously set district schedule as their schedule for 2020.

The season will begin with a scrimmage against Sigourney on Aug. 21. That will be held at Sigourney High School. Davis County will open the season on Aug. 28 with a home game against Centerville. The Mustangs will host Albia on Sept. 4 and will host Williamsburg on Sept. 11.

The Mustangs hit the road for two straight road games. They travel to Central Lee on Sept. 18 and follow that with a game at West Burlington-Notre Dame on Sept. 25. Those two games are the only road games the Mustangs will have in 2020.

The season finishes up with a home game against Mid-Prairie on Oct. 2 and a home game against Eddyville-Blakesburg-Fremont on Oct. 9.

Davis County Athletic Director Dave Mason said games with Centerville, Williamsburg, West Burlington-Notre Dame and Mid-Prairie will feature both a sub-varsity game at 5 p.m. and a varsity game scheduled to take place at 7:30 p.m. Games against Albia, Central Lee and Eddyville-Blakesburg-Fremont will feature just one varsity game. Those three games will begin at 7 p.m.  

“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,” stated the IHSAA. “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.”