SDSHAA recommends mask wearing and limiting attendance for sporting events

Local News

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) – As the fall sports season wraps up for students in South Dakota, practices for some winter sports are already underway. Now the South Dakota High School Activities Association is making some recommendations to schools to help keep people safe.

Some winter sports will be starting competitions next week.

This week the SDHSAA board decided not to change the date those competitions can begin.

“We wanted to give our schools an opportunity to let us know if we needed to pause the season, either for a few weeks after Thanksgiving, or to get past the Christmas holidays and then shift our state tournaments back to give our kids a full season, and it was loud and clear from our schools that they wanted us to continue forward so the board decided to move forward,” SDHSAA executive director, Dan Swartos said.

The board did pass a motion that “highly recommends” schools to require masks and limit attendance at the sporting events.

“I reached out to the schools yesterday (Tuesday) following the meeting, and passed along the message from the board that it’s strongly recommended to do both of those things, and I think all of our schools have responsible people in them and I think they will all take a look at what they are doing and make the best decision possible for their situation,” Swartos said.

For sporting competitions in the Harrisburg School District, activities director Jim Altenburg says fans are limited and they must wear masks.

“2-4 spectators per participant, depending on the level of our covid return to play plan, the level that we would be on at a given time, and the event in particular,” Harrisburg School District, activities director, Jim Altenburg said. “So those recommendations that the activities association has made, we have been following those for the entire fall and continue to follow them .”

“I think all of our schools are vested in doing everything they can to keep people safe,” Swartos said.

Swartos says competitions for gymnastics and wrestling start November 30th and girls and boys basketball start shortly after.

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