Last year, a high school football coach from eastern Iowa suggested a classification system for Iowa high school sports based on factors other than strictly enrollment.

Since then, the movement toward such a system has gained steam, and now, the Iowa High School Athletic Association will meet to discuss the issue at its biennial Classification Committee meeting.

The Classification Committee will meet this fall, with statewide representation from member schools and input from the Iowa Girls High School Athletic Union.

Chris Cuellar, communications director for the IHSAA, noted in a news release that 26 school districts have submitted a form resolution calling for the IHSAA and IGHSAU to, “convene a committee to seriously evaluate the competitive needs of students and schools to experience success and the inequities inherent in a system based solely on enrollment size without consideration of family and community capacity for support and make a recommendations to a joint board of both associations to resolve this issue in the 2019-20 school year.”

Des Moines Public Schools earlier this summer approved an identical resolution.

Earlier this year, Iowa City High football coach Dan Sabers commented to eastern Iowa media about what he perceived as an inequitable model based solely on enrollment. He said other factors, such as socioeconomic factors (including free- and reduced-lunch status) and recent success, should also be considered when classifying schools.

The movement has since gained steam.


The IHSAA also announced that associate director Brett Nanninga, a longtime administrator at Tri-Center of Neola, will be leaving Dec. 31, after 5 1/2 years with the IHSAA.

A longtime educator and former Board of Control member, Nanninga joined the IHSAA in 2014 after 26 years at Tri-Center, where he was principal for 10 years and superintendent for 16 years. He had served as basketball administrator, manages facility and technology operations, and is the office’s liaison for the Iowa Hall of Pride and the IHSAA’s sports advisory and awards committees.

To reach Brian Rathjen, send correspondence to or phone (712) 243-2624.