The 2021 SDHSAA State High School Wrestling Championships will take place at the Rushmore Plaza Civic Center in Rapid City on February 25-27. This year, the state wrestling tournaments will look a tad different. Because of COVID-19 protocols, a decision was made to split up the two classes, A and B, into their own venues. While both classes are at the Rushmore Plaza Civic Center complex, Class A is being housed at the Ice Arena, while the Barnett Arena will host Class B.
“Wrestling is one of our highest consistently attended events. Basketball is a highly attended event, but the attendance kind of changes flows throughout it,” explained Dan Swartos, South Dakota High School Activities Association Executive Director. “With wrestling, it’s a pretty consistent number of people who attend, and the way it’s structured, it’s consistent throughout. Knowing we were in Rapid City and knowing what the crowds are consistently like there, we started talking about the ice arena and splitting it up.”
South Dakota Public Broadcasting will stream all three days of the event live online at sdpb.org/wrestling. Both the ‘Individual Results’ tab and the ‘Team Duals Results’ tab will redirect to Track Wrestling, which is where the video streams for all eight mats will be made available. The Dual Championships on Friday evening and the individual championship matches on Saturday night will both also air live on television.
Championship wrestling for Class A will air live on SDPB1-TV, while championship wrestling for Class B will air live on SDPB2-TV.
Here is the complete schedule for the 2021 State Wrestling Championships:
First Round (Individual) – 10 am MT
Quarterfinals (Team Dual) – 3:30 pm MT
Semifinals (Team Dual) – To Follow
Quarterfinals/1st Round Consolation (Individual) – 10 am MT
2nd Round Consolation (Individual) – To Follow
Semifinals (Individual) – 3:30 pm MT
Championships (Team Dual) – To Follow ‘SDPB1-TV (A) and SDPB2-TV (B)
3rd Round Consolation (Individual) – 10 am MT
4th Round Consolation (Individual – To Follow
Placement Matches (Individual) – 3:30 pm MT
Championships (Individual) – To Follow ‘SDPB1-TV (A) and SDPB2-TV (B)
In October and November, South Dakota experienced a peak in its pandemic numbers. This was a challenge as the outlook for winter high school sports and activities look pretty bleak.
“Wrestling is definitely the sport we spent the most time on within our COVID-19 task force, just because of the nature of the sport and the contact involved in it,” Swartos said. “I think we’ve been very fortunate throughout all our winter sports, and our cases have just continued going down. When you look at where we were at around state football, which was around the highest point that we’ve had as far as a state with active cases, hospitalizations, and deaths. We’ve been very fortunate that our winter sports have been affected much less than our fall sports, which I never would have guessed that.”
Attendance and seating protocols are in place for the 2021 State Wrestling Championships. For event photos, links to Track Wrestling, and additional high school wrestling content, visit sdpb.org/wrestling.