South Dakota High School Activities Association amends constitution

The two changes will help athletes compete who's season was canceled, and also changes the requirements to be in the playoffs for football and volleyball.
Published: Aug. 25, 2020 at 5:25 PM CDT
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PIERRE, S.D. (KOTA) - The South Dakota High School Activities Association has amended its constitution in order to help deal with the implications of the coronavirus pandemic.

The two major changes include making it easier for certain athletes to transfer to and from schools and amending the playoff requirements for both football and volleyball.

“The big take away is in those scenarios we are going to allow you to open enroll to a school that is participating in fall sports. We will allow you to come back to your home school or wherever you are eligible right now following that fall season,” said Dan Swartos, SDHSAA Executive Director.

Swartos says for the time being, only fall sports are affected by school shutdowns, but that is subject to change.

This means that in theory, athletes affected by school shutdowns, largely those who attend school on Native American reservations, could play two sports for two different schools in the same school year.

Volleyball and football now have less required competitions to be eligible for the playoffs. Football will now be required to play five games as opposed to six, and volleyball eight matches instead of ten. Any games below the minimum amounts would be counted as losses.

Other fall sports did not require the change, as they did not have a minimum amount of competitions necessary to be included in their respective playoffs.

Swartos said that despite recent outbreaks that forced cancellations of games, most teams should not worry, as there are already plans in place to make up canceled games. The only teams who could potentially be affected by forced losses are those who have yet even to start practice yet.

Students who would be interested in transferring as a result of a school shutdown to play a sport should do so now, to help streamline the process.

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