At the June 11 South Dakota High School Activities Association meeting of its Board of Directors, the Board approved a second reading of a proposal to add a girls division in wrestling, effective the 2020-21 school year.
South Dakota becomes the 25th state to sanction girls wrestling, joining area states Colorado, Kansas, Missouri, Montana, and Nebraska in offering the opportunity.
SDHSAA Executive Director Dr. Daniel Swartos was pleased with the board decision, which had been discussed by staff and the SDHSAA Wrestling Advisory Committee for two years.
“I am very proud of our member schools for embracing this concept, and I am excited to provide this opportunity to student-athletes in South Dakota," Swartos said.
Effective in 2020-21, the girls wrestling division will begin with one classification and four weight classes, divided up evenly based upon certification weights of the competitors.
The top eight participants in each weight class, determined by TrackWrestling criteria, will qualify for the State Wrestling Tournament, with the girls division occurring alongside the boys division at the same event.
Expansion of weight classes for the future will be determined by participation numbers.
“In every other state that has implemented girls wrestling, they’ve seen tremendous growth in participation numbers over the first several years," SDHSAA Assistant Executive Director Dr. John Krogstrand said. "We anticipate the same in South Dakota and will adjust weight classes according to growth as we move into future years.”
In addition to girls wrestling, the SDHSAA Board of Directors also approved 2nd reading and final approvals of several other changes, including changing of start dates for practice in girls basketball and football, the approval of a Co-Ed Competitive Cheer division, a running clock rule in 11AAA and 11AA football, changes to State Meet qualification in Class A and B Track and Field, implementation of javelin as a track and field event in Class AA, a three-day single site State Track and Field meet beginning in spring 2022, an amended State Wrestling Tournament schedule beginning at the 2021 tournament, a one year classification cycle in 2021-22, and other items.
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