(1-25-18) At its monthly meeting on January 24th, the Iowa High School Athletic Association’s Board of Control approved border schools to schedule football games on the other side of the stateline.

IOWA map for FB


NEWS RELEASE (portions):

Out-Of-State Competition The Board of Control approved an additional recommendation allowing varsity football teams to play games against nearby opponents in border states, including Illinois, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, South Dakota, Wisconsin and Kansas.

IHSAA executive director Alan Beste:

“We will protect Iowa teams first, ensuring they have games each week,” Beste said. “However, we do have schools on our borders and other Iowa schools expressing interest in traveling for out-of-state competition. Accommodating those requests for competitive and geographical purposes is a reasonable thing to do.”

Iowa varsity squads last played out-of-state opponents in non-district games in 2011.

The change will benefit schools on both sides of the Illinois-Iowa stateline, but it will also cause some Illinois schools scheduling opportunities with schools in the Quad Cities.

In a QC Times story, Moline and Geneseo are scheduled for the opening week this fall while Rich South and Stagg (both Chicago suburbs) are scheduled for Week 3 and Week 9.

The Maroons were scheduled to play Thornridge, another Chicago suburb, in Week 2, but they have worked out of the contract for that game.

For a school like Geneseo, who is making a conference change, the loss of a scheduled game in the future will make the challenge bigger.

The benefit for those Mississippi River schools will be a big advantage cutting some long road trips as far away as Des Moines in exchange to going across the bridge.

Many states face a lot of the same circumstances, border schools have issues with scheduling in their own state and have to travel a long way to find a game. In recent years border schools are finding schools on the other side of a border a better option.