This month will help tell the future of Clarinda High football.

Before the year ended, the Iowa High School Athletic Association’s Board of Control made some suggestions about the future of high school football format. One proposal of having a nine-game regular season with 32 playoff teams was rejected. The board favored an eight-game regular season and five rounds with 32 playoff teams.

Last year, it was a nine-game regular season with 16 playoff teams.

The board is scheduled to meet this month to take action on the eight-game regular season, 32 playoff team format. I’m not in favor of rewarding 3-5 teams with a playoff spot, regardless how low of a seed in the bracket they receive. I also prefer nine games in the regular season.

Stay tuned, I’m sure we will have the stories once decisions have been made.

I wish Iowa would take a different approach to football playoff games. They should be played at 1 p.m. Saturday afternoons and have a home-field advantage with teams that deserve it. The only caveat would be a home-field advantage team has to travel at least once before the championship game, should they make it that far.

Those kinds of games can be great for fan travel and the host town can benefit from the visiting fans. For example, a game that ends at 3:15 p.m. in Clarinda, visiting fans could be in the Iowa City area before 8 p.m. which is a decent time to be home.

This winter, Clarinda will also know its 2020 football schedule. One speculation is Clarinda will play 3A ball rather than 2A like it did in 2019. I’m sure the annual games with Red Oak and Shenandoah will continue as well, but the rest of the schedule is uncertain.

State officials also approved having a running clock after a 35-point difference in the first half, not just the second half as it had been previously applied. The same exceptions apply with injuries, scores and timeouts.

Speaking of high school sports, you may have seen our recent Facebook post of the state allowing a shot clock to be used with some eastern Iowa high school basketball games this season.

I’m all in favor of it. There were moments during the Clarinda vs. Glenwood boy’s basketball game before the holiday break that begged for a shot clock. I’ve seen similar portions of Clarinda games in the past that would have had a different feel with a shot clock.

I understand the cost factor to schools which may not have the budget to purchase shot clocks. Add a buck or two to the game ticket or season pass until the costs are covered. Fans will be paying a bit more for a better game most of the time.

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