SDHSAA gives initial approval for Class 11AAA footballPIERRE — The South Dakota High School Activities Association Board of Directors gave initial approval to add a top-tier 11-man football class for the state’s largest schools.
PIERRE — The South Dakota High School Activities Association Board of Directors gave initial approval to add a top-tier 11-man football class for the state’s largest schools.
At a meeting Wednesday in Pierre, the board passed the measure — which could start as soon as the 2013-14 school year — on its first reading by a 6-2 margin. The board will vote on its second reading at a meeting on Feb. 29.
“Any time there’s a major change in policy, we need to have two readings on a measure,” SDHSAA Executive Director Wayne Carney said. “If something passes on the first reading, we get input on it from the public after the news media gets the information out.”
Carney said the exact same measure has to pass on a majority vote in late February for the measure to be finalized. If anything changes in the measure, the same process will take place, with first and second readings necessary.
Class 11AAA would feature eight of the current 11AA schools that have more than 750 students en-rolled in grades 9 through 11: Sioux Falls Washington, Sioux Falls Roosevelt, Rapid City Central, Sioux Falls Lincoln, Rapid City Stevens, Aberdeen Central, Wa-tertown and Brandon Valley.
The new 11AA would be made up of eight schools with the next highest enrollments. The 11AA schools would be allowed to petition up to the higher classifi-cation, and the smallest 11AAA members would be allowed to petition down to 11AA.
The remaining 11-man teams would be split equally between the lower A and B classifications, based on enrollment.
The proposal came out of discussions held by current 11AA schools.
“I would be surprised if it didn’t pass by an almost unanimous vote,” Carney said.
Carney said Class 11AAA would be in effect for two years, and the board would re-look at it after the first year.