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Standards considered for state wrestling dual tournament

PIERRE — Progress is being made on setting the standards for adding a dual tournament to the state wrestling tournament.

South Dakota High School Activities Association Assistant Executive Director John Krogstrand told the SDHSAA board on Wednesday that a wrestling advisory committee was working on a format that would determine a team’s qualifications for the dual tournament.

Those qualifications included: competing in a minimum of eight duals; fielding a team of 10 wrestlers at the tournament, and filing an intention to participate in the tournament.

Krogstrand explained that teams would use the wrestling Power Points system to rank the teams. Regional dual tournaments were considered, according to SDHSAA Executive Director Daniel Swartos, but the scheduling was determined to be too complicated.

“They wanted something that would result in the least amount of disruption for them,” Swartos said.

The proposal will go to the athletic directors’ meeting in March and if approved there will make its way back to the SDHSAA board. In April 2018, the SDHSAA board voted unanimously to bring back the state dual tournament in 2019-20, pledging to iron out any concerns prior to the first event. The change will also bring a three-day format to the state wrestling event, up from the current Friday-Saturday event.

Football scheduling draws attention

High school football coaches may seek a major scheduling change that would require that the state volleyball tournament be moved to an earlier date. The SDHSAA Board of Directors heard about the plan at its Wednesday meeting.

According to Krogstrand, 11B and nine-man football coaches are concerned about what they see as an abbreviated pre-season schedule. In the 2017 and 2018 seasons, those teams had 10 days of practice prior to the start of the season with just four of them allowed as padded or contact days.  

“They don’t feel their kids are physically prepared,” Krogstrand said. “Most injuries occur in the first two weeks of practice and in early contest games.”

To add more practice time, the proposal from football coaches would essentially swap the football championship weekend for the volleyball championship weekend. Volleyball’s championship would be played a week earlier to allow football an extra week of practice. SDHSAA avoids scheduling championship games from different sports on the same weekend.

Board chairman Brian Maher of Sioux Falls said that SDHSAA went through an extensive school calendar study in 2015 in which the switching the football and volleyball championship weekends was considered and rejected.

“I know they looked at flipping this and they didn’t,” Maher said. “I don’t think football should dictate what volleyball gets to do.”

The request will go to the athletic directors meeting in March. If approved there, it would come back to the SDHSAA board for final approval.

Other football related news included:

  • An update from Krogstrand on the All Nations Football Conference which would be made up of Native American schools. Krogstrand said 10 schools have signed up for the conference. Those schools include Little Wound, Red Cloud, Cheyenne-Eagle Butte, St. Francis, Flandreau Indian School, Tiospa Zina, Crow Creek, Lower Brule, Crazy Horse and Takini. Krogstrand said schools in Nebraska and North Dakota are also interested in joining the conference but that likely wouldn’t happen until 2020 at the earliest.
  • A warning from Krogstrand that the west side of the DakotaDome in Vermillion would not be available for the next football championship games, due to part of the $26 million in renovations by the University of South Dakota. “We don’t want to be in a position to tell someone we’re sold out,” Krogstrand said. SDHSAA staff will monitor the situation.