SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — Despite playing a contact sport in the middle of a pandemic, high school football in South Dakota has seen 29 games canceled, through nearly seven weeks.
This week is called ‘Week 6’ even though it will be the seventh week of high school football.
Through the first seven weeks of the season, there have been a total of 29 games canceled.
However, thirteen of those games have been made up as new games, meaning there have been only sixteen games that the state has lost, due to COVID-19.
There is a low number of overall games that have been canceled, however that number has risen over the last two weeks.
There were only three games canceled in the first four weeks of the season, but that number has risen by 26 games in just weeks four, five and six.
Along with that rise in cancelations, there has been a rise in rescheduled or make up games as well. There have been twelve makeup games over the past three weeks.
Week six will come to an end this weekend (Oct. 2), and when it does, a total of 414 football games have been played out of the 430 football games should have been played, but only 414 games have been played.
That means that 96.3% of the games have been played, assuming there are no more cancelations for week six.
South Dakota High School Activities Association Executive Director Daniel Swartos says the league has still seen a high number of games played.
“We’re probably in that 93-95% of games played. Last week (week 5) was the most games that we’ve had canceled, and we still were around that 90% games played last Friday,” Swartos said.
Week five saw ten cancelations and only three new make-up games, which resulted in just 89.1% of week five games being played, the lowest of the season.
Week six (Friday, October 2) is trending in that direction as well. The week has seen the most cancelations (11) of any week, but has also seen the most new games/make-up games (5) scheduled.
Week six was planned to have 70 games, but due to COVID-19 cancelations, there will only be 64 games played, which is still 91.4% of games that were scheduled.
The state of South Dakota has seen a significant rise in COVID-19 cases over the past month, however it doesn’t seem to have a huge impact on high school football.
“Most of the teams who are having to cancel games are not due to cases,” Swartos said. “These teams are losing players because they are considered close contacts.”