Paralympic Class Expanding for Iowa High School Track and Field

IHSAA- The Iowa High School Athletic Association (IHSAA) conducted their Board of Control meeting yesterday and changes have been made to Track and Field, Soccer, and Football.

The IHSAA and Iowa Girls High School Athletic Union have added an Ambulatory Division to the Paralympic Class to go along with the Wheelchair Division. The Ambulatory Division will give student-athletes with at least one of eight impairments—limb deficiency, leg length difference, short stature, hypertonia, ataxia, athetosis, visual impairment, and intellectual impairment—an opportunity to compete.

Event points will be added alongside the Wheelchair Division, which was added to the State Track and Field Championships in 1990. Team points will now be distributed from both divisions’ events.

Soccer will now see their state semifinals and championship games played in Des Moines starting this spring. The semifinal games will be played at both Drake Stadium and Mediacom Stadium with Mediacom Stadium hosting the finals.

The Quarterfinals will still be held at the Cownie Soccer Complex. The quarterfinals are scheduled to start on May 29th with the semifinals running on May 31st and the finals going on June 1st.

Football will feature some changes heading into the 2024 season with the first line of order having to do with postseason site assignments. For the Round of 16, hosting priorities will be relegated in this order: district finish, head-to-head results, IHSAA rankings, fewest district losses, and alphabet draw.

That same order will be used for the Quarterfinals sans district finish.

Teams that forfeit a regular-season contest due to a lack of available players will be ruled ineligible for the postseason, which includes week 9 non-district games allowed in Classes 2A, 1A, A, and 8-Player.

Rules regarding preseason have been laxed. Teams are allowed to schedule weight room sessions outside the preseason allotted four-hour practice window. Teams will also be permitted to practice on Saturday or Sunday following the first allowable scrimmage date; additionally, teams can determine how many teams attend a scrimmage with four being the maximum at the same site.

Lastly, state semifinals and finals will now feature seven-person officiating crews instead of the typical five-person crews for all classifications.