South Dakota’s smallest high schools are close to another option for fielding football teams. The South Dakota High School Activities Association’s Board of Directors has given initial approval to offer a six-man football class.
The change would allow schools with an Average Daily Minimum enrollment under 40 to play in the new classification. Edgemont High School Athletic Director Lane Ostensen says if final approval comes from the state level, the Moguls will commit to the move.
“From our standpoint, I think it’s gonna be a really good deal—we are one of the smaller districts in the state, you know, our football numbers have been pretty low, with the students playing football and our overall ADM is pretty low," said Ostensen. "This kinda gives us the option to hang onto football in Edgemont, and fielding a team.”
Ostensen said the Edgemont district is making improvements to its athletic complex to prepare for future football games and other events.
“We tore up our football field, and put a track around our football field. We’ve been working on that since last spring. And our goalposts are on the ground on the football field, we haven’t stuck ‘em in the ground, yet," explained Ostensen. "We’ll be shortening up the field a little bit, so we’ll be moving it in to an 80-yard field instead of a hundred.”
Under national six-man football rules, teams are required to play on an 80-yard field unless a 100-yard field is their only option. If six-man football gets final approval in June, the class would replace Class 9B football, leaving two nine-man classifications. All four 11-man classes would remain unchanged by this change.
Click here for some additional differences on rules with six-man football