The South Dakota State Soccer Association voted Sunday at its 2012 Annual General Membership meeting to end high school club soccer after the 2014 season. After that date, the only high school soccer programmed will be sanctioned by the South Dakota High School Activities Association.
High school soccer as a club sport has been a part of SD Soccer since 1997. The season, played in the fall, was administered by the soccer association. Then in early 2010, the SD HS Activities Association voted to sanction soccer and begin play in fall 2012. Even prior to the vote in 2010, SDSSA was working with local soccer associations to prepare them for the ultimate time when they would have to work with the local school district to get soccer sanctioned and sponsored in their communities.
The Activities Association has put a plan in place for soccer organizations to follow in helping their schools fund the soccer teams over a five year period. And the soccer association has always been of the opinion that most schools would take the sport on over the first two or three years of competition.
The South Dakota State Soccer Association is comprised of nearly 17,000 players. Less than 10 percent of those are high school club soccer participants. By setting this sunset date, the soccer association will be able to focus all its efforts on the competitive and large recreational base in its membership.
After the 2014 high school club season, the soccer association will offer a U19 league in the fall for programs which cannot get sanctioned by their schools. The SDSSA is still committed to helping its member affiliates approach their school districts to help them with the process.
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