Possibility of Six-Man Football

By Dana Hess
For the S.D. Newspaper Association

In many South Dakota communities, Friday nights in the fall are set aside for high school football games. In smaller towns, continuing that tradition may depend on going to six-man teams.

That possibility was discussed at Wednesday’s (Jan. 17) meeting of the South Dakota High School Activities Association board of directors. SDHSAA Assistant Executive Director John Krogstrand told the board that the matter had been discussed and unanimously endorsed by the football advisory committee.

Krogstrand said that schools with an average daily membership of 100 or less were surveyed about the possibility of going from nine-man to six-man football. More than 40 percent of the 112 respondents showed some level of favorability to adding six-man football to the offerings of the SDHSAA.

Notes from the advisory committee, available at the SDHSAA website at www.sdhsaa.com, say that adding six-man football would likely mean that fewer schools would offer nine-man football, requiring a realignment of the remaining nine-man teams.

Krogstrand said the change to the smaller teams may be necessary “to keep football Friday alive.”

The advisory committee’s recommendation will now go to a meeting of the state’s high school athletic directors. Any action endorsed by the athletic directors would then need to come before the SDHSAA board for its approval.

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