The South Dakota High School Activities Association Board of Directors voted unanimously Wednesday, July 22, in favor of a proposal to allow all sanctioned high school fall sports and activities to start in August. South Dakota joins Iowa, Nebraska, and North Dakota in deciding to proceed with a fall sports and activities season. “We are excited that the SDHSAA is moving forward with fall activities,” stated Ryan Scoular, Milbank School District Activities Director. “The plan is to allow fans to attend fall activities. We encourage fans to wear a mask and maintain social distancing when possible. The situation is fluid and subject to change. We will regularly evaluate
active cases in our community and adjust fan attendance accordingly.”
The main pieces to the proposal the board passed are fan attendance, positive case policy, and forfeit vs. no contest for games:
If a student-athlete tests positive for COVID-19, they will be required to self- isolate for 10 days from the onset of symptoms, and must remain fever free for 24 hours without the use of fever-reducing medications. Those who were severely or critically ill must self-isolate for 20 days from the onset of symptoms, and remain fever free for 24 hours without the use of fever-reducing medications. Additionally, a student-athlete who tested positive must be cleared by a certified physician before they can return to action. If a student-athlete or coach comes in close contact with a confirmed case, the South Dakota Department of Health Guidelines require a 14-day quarantine and daily
screening of symptoms.
If there are multiple cases in a school, and the district is forced to go to an online-learning format by the Department of Health, the SDHSAA will work with the teams of the school to reschedule a game or contest. If a game can’t be made up, it will go down as a ‘no contest.’ If a school decides to not play a game or contest without being directed to do so by the Department of Health, the game will go in the books as a ‘forfeit.’
Bus trips could require passengers to wear masks and follow a seating chart. This is designed to create contact data. Those decisions, as well as fan attendance, will be decided by each school.
The first teams will begin practice on Monday, August 3. Other teams plan to start Thursday, August 6. Start dates for each sport in Milbank will be published when the information is released by Scoular and the district.
A conference call between the SDHSAA and its member schools is scheduled for Thursday, July 23. The discussion will cover questions and concerns about the proposal. Although the High School Activities Association has given
the green light for fall sports and activities to start on schedule, each member school retains the option to not participate.