PIERRE, S.D. (KELO) — About 1,000 students in the Sioux Falls School District could play fall sports under approval from the South Dakota High School Activities Association.
The SDHAA board unanimously approved today a multiple page plan for the return of fall sports in South Dakota high schools. Local school districts can still make a decision on fall sports.
The Cheyenne-Eagle Butte School District announced this week that it had canceled fall sports.
The Sioux Falls School District had about 1,140 girls and boys participate in fall sports during the 2019-2020 season, according to the district.
Participation numbers for girls cross country, girls tennis and boys golf also included seventh and eighth graders.
The high school association also means about 11,600 student athletes could play fall sports in South Dakota. The 11,600 students is based on the 2018-2019 sports participation survey conducted by the National Federation of State High Associations (NFHS). The participation numbers include 11-man football only and a competitive spirit sport. Competitive dance or cheer are not listed as sports.
The decision on fall sports follows the cancellation of high school spring sports and the abrupt end to many winter sports tournament games in South Dakota.
Fall sports in the Sioux Falls School District include: football, volleyball, boys and girls cross country, boys golf, girls tennis, boys and girls soccer, competitive dance and competitive cheer.
Fall football draws the most athletes of any fall sport in Sioux Falls followed by volleyball. Boys and girls soccer each had 121 participants in 2019-2020.
Volleyball drew more participants (3,411) than 11-man football (3,133) in the state in 2018-2019. But, 66 schools participated in 11-man football while 163 schools participated in volleyball. South Dakota also has 9-man football.
Based on the 2018-2019 fall high school enrollment in SFSD, about 16.7% of students participated in fall sports last year. The 2018-2019 enrollment is the most recent included on the school’s data profile on the website. The fall enrollment was 6,826.9. But, a certain number of seventh and eighth graders participate in girls cross country, boys golf and girls tennis, which would impact the percentage of high school student participation.