South Dakota sticks with seven classes of football

Brent Nathaniel

PIERRE, S.D. ( — There will be seven classes of football in South Dakota after all.

The South Dakota High School Activities Association approved the revamped football classification system in the state at their Wednesday meeting.

It’s been a long road to this point. In October 2020, the football advisory committee put forth a revamped five-class and six-class proposal for the state to consider. In November 2020, the board of directors of the SDHSAA set those proposals aside and passed the first reading of a revamped seven class proposal. Wednesday’s second reading passed unanimously.

The seven classifications will now look like this in South Dakota:

11AAA will consisting of the top nine schools, the five Sioux Falls, two Rapid City, Brandon Valley, and Harrisburg.

Watertown and Aberdeen will move down to Class 11AA and be included in the next eleven schools including Brookings, Yankton, Sturgis, Douglas, Mitchell, Huron, Pierre, Spearfish, and Tea Area.

11A would be the next 14 schools including Milbank and Sisseton.

11B will be the remaining schools in the state, down to a male ADM of 56.001

All three 9-man classes will stay the same. 9AA will be the top ⅓ of teams with an ADM of 56.00. 9A will be the middle ⅓ of teams below 56.000. 9B will be in the bottom ⅓ of teams below 56.000.

The classifications begin with the 2021-2022 school year.