According to a press release I got today, there isn’t any formal high school soccer – boys or girls – in the state of South Dakota. Doesn’t that seem strange? What if you’re a soccer-lovin’ maniac in Sioux Falls? What do you do?
That’s a really weird fact.
I didn’t know there were high schools in South Dakota.
[li]Buy a satellite dish.[/li][li]Sign up at the “Y.”[/li][li]Create a league yourself. You need, what, 15 or so people to field a soccer team? Get sixty signatures and you’ve got a 4-team league.[/li][li]Do like any normal American boy or girl should do and sign up for baseball.[/li]
According to the South Dakota State High School Activities Association, which seems to be the governing authority for athletics in South Dakota, the following sports are officially sanctioned: Basketball, Cheerleading, Cross Country, Football (American style), Golf, Gymnastics, Tennis, Track, Volleyball, and Wrestling.
This is a pretty small number compared to most states, but South Dakota is pretty small and there probably aren’t enough people to create the critical mass necessary to start high school soccer. I’m sure that there are club teams and I would find it hard to believe that AYSO has not started any programs in South Dakota.
In terms of participants, soccer is the #5 sport for both boys and girls in the entire U.S. Football, basketball, track, and baseball lead for boys and basketball, track, volleyball, and softball lead for girls.
According to the National Federation of State High School Athletic Associations, South Dakota is the only state that has no official soccer program. It also has more schools with football programs than basketball programs. Apparently, hitting people is popular in South Dakota.
Haha. I’m almost certain that there are minor league soccer teams in South Dakota. A-League and PDL have hundreds of professional and semi-pro teams all over the country.
For players, there must be indoor, AYSO, and club teams.
I’ve never visited SD, but I’d wager that the low population density and cold weather make it hard to field a soccer team or play comfortably outdoors.
But North Dakota seems to be able to get around to it.
Well, since I live here I had better reply.
I have seen soccer fields in Sioux Falls.
More to the point: I grew up in a small town 40 miles south of here. There were 23 people in my graduating high school class. Most schools in the surrounding communities do not have the resources to support a soccer program. Sioux Falls has many soccer programs and does promote play for all ages. (I have witnessed people actually playing soccer while passing by on the bike trails)
BTW, I am more upset that we didnt/dont have high school hockey programs.
There’s high school soccer in Alaska. I think that it would be even harder up there than in North Dakota.
I think the culprit is money. South Dakota has very few sports compared to other states. Even a cash-strapped area like DC has more offerings.
I don’t necessarily think this is a bad thing. I suppose that the relatively scarce tax dollars for education in South Dakota don’t pick up the tab for soccer, or ice hockey, or swimming, or skiing, or lacrosse, all of which are sanctioned by many other states.
Like absoul I live in SD. While there is no formal high school soccer programs in SD, there are massive community soccer programs for all ages. Most other community soccer programs that I’ve seen outside of SD usually are for those under 14.
And absoul the Aberdeen High School has a hockey team plus they are finally building a rink in Rapid City, well that is if they can finish all of the litigation brought up about it.