The SDHSAA Board of Directors pushed through the guidelines for summer contact and activities and sent the football classification discussion back to the advisory committee.

Last week the NFHS released its guidelines in regards to returning to activities during the COVID-19 pandemic. With the new guidelines, the SDHSAA called a meeting for today (May 28) to discuss plans moving forward.

The SDHSAA Board of Directors determined that the plan that has been outlined is sufficient and set to begin June 1-July 31. Phase I will begin with pre-workout screenings, limitations on gatherings, and low-risk sports returning to practice with distancing guidelines. More information on all of the phases can be found here. Important note from the meeting is that these plans are recommendations and up to the local towns and athletic directors to determine how to go about returning to activities. This ruling is non-binding and schools/districts cannot be punished by the SDHSAA for not following the guidelines.

Following the discussion of returning to activities, the SDHSAA Board of Directors turned its attention to the football classifications. It has been the goal to get South Dakota down to five classes of football from the current seven class system. The football advisory committee last voted to make a subcommittee to look into the classifications more and sent that to the Board of Directors to discuss.

Today's discussion didn't bring South Dakota much closer to achieving the goal of five classes. After much debate over pushing through the initial five-class proposal or sending it back to the football advisory committee to make that subcommittee to discuss this further, the Board of Directors opted to send it back for discussion on an 8-0 unanimous vote.

There are a few key items to the classification discussion getting sent back, however. The Board of Directors wants the subcommittee to make and bring a five-class and a six-class system to the table by November 1. This way they can evaluate both and potentially push forward a plan.

If a plan can be figured out around that timeframe, the changes could take place for the 2021 football season.

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