PIERRE — South Dakota's high school sports will remain canceled through April, in accordance to Gov. Kristi Noem's direction to close the state's schools through May 1.
South Dakota High School Activities Association Executive Director Dan Swartos said all SDHSAA spring sports practices and competitions will be canceled through Sunday, May 3.
The SDHSAA’s Board of Directors will meet at 11 a.m. Friday via teleconference to decide on the 2020 spring sports season and consider the suspended or postponed events of basketball, visual arts, region music and all-state band. The agenda regarding those two topics was posted to the SDHSAA website on Tuesday afternoon.
On March 16, the SDHSAA postponed competitions through April 5, with the decision to hold practices left to individual school administrators. Until Tuesday’s announcement, the lone activity to be officially canceled was the state student council convention.
“This one was pretty easy -- if schools are closed through May 1, then our events need to be canceled,” Swartos told The Daily Republic. “In terms of canceling practice, it’s become apparent with the governor’s orders and CDC guidance that we need to step in and cancel practices. I hadn’t heard of anybody practicing, but we wanted to shut that door in light of what the governor is asking everyone to do.”
At the direction of Noem on March 13, the SDHSAA postponed its state basketball competitions, which included the in-progress Class B girls basketball tournament in Spearfish and the Class A and AA tournaments, and the Class B boys tournament from March 19-21.
A time and date for the upcoming SDHSAA Board of Directors meeting — which will be held via teleconference and livestreamed for the public — has not been announced, but Swartos anticipates the meeting taking place “late this week or early next week.”
“Is it feasible to try to do them in May -- or later -- or not?” Swartos said. “A lot of that will depend on what happens in the country and what CDC guidelines do between now and then and a lot of other things.”
High school baseball is following SDHSAA’s lead
In an update of their own Tuesday, the South Dakota High School Baseball Association said it would continue to follow Gov. Kristi Noem and the SDHSAA’s guidance regarding holding spring sports and activities.
That means high school baseball in South Dakota — which isn’t affiliated with the state’s high school association — will not hold competitions prior to May 3.
“We will continue to follow the guidance of our elected officials, the SDHSAA, our local school districts, and the CDC as the health crisis continues to unfold,” said Dane Yde, who is the baseball association’s executive director. “The board will continue to monitor things over the coming days.”
Prior to the announcement about the cancelation of spring sports practices statewide from the SDHSAA, the SDHSBA had asked baseball programs to follow local school district policies regarding local practices or team gatherings.
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