South Dakota legislators take aim at activities association

February 2, 2016 / Athletic Administration
Florida isn’t the only state where legislators are trying to overhaul the way its athletic association operates.

sdhsaaThree bills have been proposed in South Dakota, an attempt to change the rules and policies that help govern the state’s high school sports. One bill would void the South Dakota High School Activities Association’s transgender policy, instead declaring that birth certificates are the official record of a student’s gender. In 2014, the association approved a policy that allows transgender students to apply for participation with the gender they identify with. A board would then review all applications.

Legislators are considering two other proposals. From The Daily Republic:

Another bill, HB 1111, would require the association to submit to the Legislature’s rules-making and rule-review process for “any rule or policy statement of the association which concerns or deals with major and significant social policy.”

The House Education Committee holds a hearing on the rules-review change Wednesday morning. Its lead Senate sponsor is Sen. Brock Greenfield, R-Clark.

A third bill that would affect the association goes in another direction.

Rep. Shawn Bordeaux, D-Mission, wants to assign to the association the duties and authority to handle complaints that team names, mascots and nicknames are “racially derogatory or discriminatory.”

In January, Florida legislators proposed their own trio of bills aimed at the Florida High School Athletic Association. One bill in particular has created concerns that the state’s high school sports landscape would take on a “free agency” atmosphere, allowing student-athletes to transfers schools with no penalty.

Click here to learn more on what’s happening in South Dakota.

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