In January, the South Dakota High School Activities Association executive staff recommended postponing the addition of six-man football for the 2019 and 2020 seasons.
It’s eight months later and their stance hasn’t changed on the matter.
“Our position is until we have a group of schools come together with a firm, solid commitment for a two-year period that we are not going to actively pursue it from the staff side,” SDHSAA Assistant Executive Director John Krogstrand said.
Schools eligible for six-man needed to have a male-only average daily membership (ADM) under 40 for grades 9-11. The six-man class would have essentially replaced Class 9B.
The SDHSAA Board of Directors voted in June 2018 to begin offering six-man football as a sanctioned sport. Prior to the vote, a survey was conducted to gauge interest among schools that were eligible to play six-man football.
Forty-three schools made indication of an interest, but when it came right down to it, fewer than 10 schools made a formal commitment and it prompted the executive staff to postpone the six-man idea.
“Because of logistical issues and travel and everything else -- as well as the addition of the All-Nations Conference and new co-ops being formed and others not dissolving -- that basically the numbers just weren’t there,” Krogstrand said.
Krogstrand points to The All-Nations Conference and soccer as two examples of new conferences or sanctioned sports forming with enough teams to make it feasible. The same would need to have for six-man football to make it a reality.
The All-Nations Conference and soccer both had a firm commitment from at least 10-12 schools and Krogstrand said six-man needs the same to be supported.
“That’s kind of what we are waiting on at this point before we would do anything as a staff and I don’t think our board or membership or anybody is going to propose anything different,” Krogstrand said. “The onus is back on those schools that maybe initiated those conversations if that’s something they feel strongly about and want to revisit, then that’s on them to do that to put that coalition together of those schools to bring it forward for consideration.”