Awards & Honors

Academic Achievement Team Awards

Initiated during the 1996–97 school year, the SDHSAA Academic Achievement Team Award program is designed to recognize varsity athletic teams and fine arts groups for their academic excellence. All varsity athletic teams and fine arts groups that participate in Association-sponsored activities are eligible for this recognition program.

Distinguished Service Awards

The South Dakota High School Activities Association established a Distinguished Service Award program in 1976 with the first awards being presented at the State Basketball Tournaments in 1977. The purpose of the program is to recognize outstanding service to the youth of the state through various high school activities programs. Candidates for the award are nominated by the schools with the final selection being made by the Board of Directors.


Elite 15

The Elite 15 program was implemented in 1997 at a time when girls and women’s sports were not equal and continues today to help raise awareness of girls’ participation in athletics and to promote gender equity. The program provides opportunity “statewide” to honor female athletes for their accomplishments recognizing achievements in athletic ability, leadership, scholarship, and community involvement.


Nation Girls & Women in Sports Day

National Girls and Women in Sports Day (NGWSD) was chartered by the U.S. Congress in 1986 to honor female athletic achievement and recognize the importance of sports and fitness participation for all girls and women. NGWSD is celebrated in all 50 states with community-based events, award ceremonies, and activities honoring the achievements and encouraging participation of girls and women in sports.