SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — When House Bill 1217 passed the legislature, the executive director of the Sioux Falls Sports Authority cautioned about the impact the bill, if signed into law, could have on future sporting events in the state.
After weeks of discussion, HB 1217 is gone. And after a dramatic back-and-forth with lawmakers over a veto of the bill, Gov. Kristi Noem announced two executive orders on protecting “fairness in girls’ and women’s sports.”
The two orders direct the State Department of Education and the Board of Regents to enforce rules allowing only females based on their biological sex at birth, to participate in girls’ and women’s sports. The move would stop transgender girls from participating in girls sports in South Dakota.
While the South Dakota High School Activities Association has said its current policy hasn’t changed with the announcement of the executive orders, Gov. Noem also stated a special legislative session, in late May or June, would further address the topic of “fairness in girls’ and women’s sports.”
Thomas Lee with the Sioux Falls Sports Authority said there has been no impact on sporting events previously scheduled as of Wednesday. He also said his organization will not look to help Gov. Noem or lawmakers in crafting any legislation on “fairness in girls’ and women’s sports” in a special session.
Lee had no further comment about HB 1217, Gov. Noem’s executive orders or any future discussions regarding the topic.
Along with the Summit League basketball tournaments, Sioux Falls is slated to host the Division I men’s hockey regional tournament in 2024 and 2026. In 2024, Sioux Falls will host the NCAA Division II volleyball championship and in 2026, Sioux Falls will host the NCAA DII wrestling championship.