We’re often asked how our all-state teams are selected. Being an all-state athlete is a select class of the state’s best athletes. Our lists are exclusive, which means its common they’ll be debated because such a slim number of athletes in each sport are selected to the honor each season.
Our all-state teams are selected during selection meetings which involve coaches and IPSWA member sports writers from across the state. What’s said at these meetings is 100% confidential. IPSWA nor any participant of the meeting can comment on anything about the meetings, including why one athlete was selected over another. Once the teams are selected, the decisions are final.
In general, IPSWA undertakes a similar process for each sport in selecting all-state teams:
- A nomination period opens online. Any sports writer (even if they are not an IPSWA member), as well as any coach or athletic director, can submit athletes from their schools/area that they feel are all-state worthy. They give stats and comments about the players which are compiled and given to those who attend the selection meeting. Just because a player is nominated does not mean they will be selected to an all-state team. In fact, often times we receive more nominations than we have open spots on our teams.
- At the in-person meeting, sports writers and coaches are divided into classes where teams are selected. Online nominations are reviewed, and additional nominations can be made during this time. Players are nominated and discussed before the vote is taken. Players are selected after a review of not just statistics, but testimonials by those who have seen the players in action. All-state is not merely an award for statistical leaders. For football, a select number of coaches have a vote, but otherwise, the teams are voted on by sports writers. Each player who received a majority vote in the class discussion is named to all-state.
- For football and baseball, there are specific positions for each team. There are only so many quarterback, running back, defensive back, etc. positions to be selected to. For boys and girls basketball, we select eight athletes for each team, regardless of position.
- For football and baseball, each class selects a team captain. To be a captain, a player must be a senior on the first team. For boys and girls basketball, sports writers and coaches select a Mr. and Miss Iowa Basketball recipient — the best senior player across all classes.
- Teams are released for IPSWA member newspapers for publication on a set date and time. Only IPSWA members receive the teams in advance. All other media may publish the teams once they are released publicly.