The SDHSAA Board of Directors held its April meeting today (April 21) and discussed multiple proposals including moving to a five-class football classification system.

This April meeting is the first reading to implementing new rules for high school sports in South Dakota. Motions that passed today advance to a June meeting where they will be discussed and voted on again. If the motions pass the June meeting, they would then go into effect.

A five-class football system is coming, but not in the form that was sent to the Board of Directors. The Football Advisory Committee outlined a five-class proposal that was voted down by a majority of the athletic directors across the state. However, the SDHSAA elected to push it to the Board of Directors due to the need of getting classifications down to five to help with scheduling and numbers heading into the future.

After discussion today, the SDHSAA Board of Directors has concluded that a five-class system is necessary, however, the current proposal needs tweaking. The advisory board will meet again in the near future (early May or so) and will put together a new model for a five-class system. That would then get passed to the Activities Directors for another vote and then placed on the desk of the Board of Directors in June for a reading. If it advances past the Board in June, they would hold a special session for another reading in the future.

Other items of note regarding football include the passing of the mercy rule for 11AAA/11AA. The mercy rule would implement a running clock in any game in which a team is leading by 35 or more points. This also includes the postseason. Also, 11AAA/11AA/11A first allowable practice would be moved up to August 10 to allow for more practice time before the first game played. Those will be voted on again by the Board of Directors in June.

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