House passes rodeo as new state sport


Rep. Larry Rhoden, R-Union Center, introduced a bill this legislative session to designate rodeo as the state sport. So far it’s passed the state House of Representatives with little opposition and now moves to the Senate.

Rhoden said he thinks South Dakota should have a state sport that exemplifies the values and heritage of its people and promotes tourism and economic development.

“I think rodeo is far and away the best choice for a state sport,” Rhoden said. “It’s not a popularity contest, it’s what exemplifies the state.”

South Dakota has produced national and world champions in the sport.

Many people agreed with Rhoden, but some brought up concerns with the proposal.

“South Dakota loves its sports,” Rep. Phyllis Heineman, R-Sioux Falls, said. “Not just one of them – South Dakota loves all its sports. They’re an important part of our economy and our growth.”