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OUR VIEW: Enacted holiday break rule was much-needed

Relax. We all need time to do it, but too often we push kids and young adults so hard they rarely get time to rest. The South Dakota High School Association (SDHSAA) has stepped in to help with that issue for student-athletes and those who partic...

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Relax.

We all need time to do it, but too often we push kids and young adults so hard they rarely get time to rest.

The South Dakota High School Association (SDHSAA) has stepped in to help with that issue for student-athletes and those who participate in other SDHSAA-sanctioned events.

Earlier this year, the SDHSAA set a mandatory four-day break, called a moratorium, over the holiday break from Dec. 23 to Dec. 26 starting the 2018-19 school year.

The break ensures athletes will not travel to competitions, practice or participate in games or events on those dates. Students who are in fine arts activities such as band or chorus will also be on break for the four-day period.

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What a relief this will be to those students who participate in SDHSAA-sanctioned winter events, which is why we're pleased about the new rule.

While it's not the case for everyone, many students are jam-packed with athletics, school work, part-time jobs and other extra-curricular activities. Aside from managing their time around those events, students are also tasked with preparing for college-prep tests like the SAT and ACT.

Too much is getting thrown at kids and teenagers too early.

Multiple studies, including those conducted by American Academy of Pediatrics, have shown kids simply feel too busy.

We realize having a full schedule helps students prepare for college and life after graduation, but it's safe to say that over scheduling students could lead to burnout, stress and anxiety.

Coaches from many high school teams in our area already had a self-imposed policy to set aside a holiday break for student-athletes, but we're pleased it's now mandated.

The holidays are a perfect season to set the four-day break to allow students time with family, and it also allows athletes a period to rest, recoup and heal.

For some athletes who participate in multiple sports, they get little to no rest - jumping straight from fall into winter activities.

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Our only knock on this rule is it wasn't passed earlier.

We applaud the SDHSAA Board of Directors for enacting the moratorium and know it will lead to much-needed relaxation for everyone.

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