PIERRE-South Dakota prep sports are attempting to stay ahead of the curve.
That's how South Dakota High School Activities Association Assistant Executive Director John Krogstrand explained it after the board of directors unanimously approved a variety of key agenda items on Thursday, including implementing instant replay in state championship football and basketball games.
Both items were expected to be resoundingly passed prior to the meeting, but it was important to Krogstrand to begin use of replay immediately, rather than waiting a year or two.
"There are three states that piloted it last year in Alabama, New Jersey and Minnesota," Krogstrand said. "Once it was available, we didn't want to wait a year to implement it. We wanted to be ahead of the curve a little bit and be one of the first few states to bring it and use it in a common sense manner. At the end of the day, every official wants to get the call right."
While the SDHSAA board members took a step forward in technological advances, they went back to an old model by approving the disbandment of the Class AA and Class A combined state basketball tournaments starting in 2021.
Details and locations have not been determined and the next year will be used to finalize details to make the tournament work in the most efficient way possible.
"We do have a few sites that have noted their availability for March 2021," Krogstrand said. "That'll be something we take a look at it with our committee. It allows us time to work with our athletic directors and schools. ... We've got this opportunity to do it and do it right in the next year and a half, rather than the next six months."
The SDHSAA also approved Dana J. Dykhouse Stadium in Brookings as the host for the 2019 state championship football games while the DakotaDome in Vermillion undergoes renovations. There will be a conflict with volleyball state-qualifying games that Thursday, but no final decisions have been made with football schedules.
The upcoming girls tennis season will also start a week sooner to help accommodate a new state schedule with the teams now being split from one class to two classes.
One of the few items not to pass though, were a pair of golf items that proposed the return of the Class AA regional tournament and reducing the Class A qualifying field from the top 60 percent to the top 50 percent.
"In Class AA golf, we have 18 teams and I think everybody was looking at when we'd have 20 potentially," Krogstrand said. "Nineteen for sure, 20 most likely in two more years when Sioux Falls Jefferson is open and potentially having another school move up. I think (Class AA schools) thought there was a delay in implementation, so we tabled it for right now."