The less connected that junior high/middle school level programs are to high school programs today, the more problems the high school programs will have tomorrow . . .

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The most fundamental strategy for recruiting and retaining officials is consistent, ceaseless efforts to improve officials’ working environment. 

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Posted in: Officials
Like school sports, Little League has different parents today than years ago. “For them, the youth sports fields aren’t so much a destination as a path;"

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And a better way to look at a leader than the one with all the answers is to view the leader as a collector of questions.

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There is a temptation to characterize the multi-sport athlete as an anachronism or myth of modern school sports. 

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Posted in: Specialization
Even more startling is this: In 1960, five percent of US births were to unmarried women. In 2012, it was 41 percent.

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“It’s the drive there and the drive back. And you talk about anything else except about the game.”

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Posted in: Perspective
It is sometimes the most maligned who do the most good; and that might be said of high school sports officials.

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Posted in: Officials
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About the Author

Jack Roberts

Jack Roberts has been at the helm of the MHSAA as its Executive Director since 1986, implementing programs and overseeing tournament administration and regulations for the Association which boasts 1,500 member schools, 11,000 registered officials and 13,000 head coaches.

During the last 43 years, Roberts has spoken to educator and athletic groups, business leaders and civic groups in almost every state and five Canadian provinces. He is one of the nation's most articulate advocates for educational athletics.

Roberts has served on several national association boards and is the first chairman of the NFHS Network board of directors. He has been board president for the Refugee Development Center for four years, and is past-chair of the board of directors of the Michigan Society of Association Executives. He was selected to the board of trustees for the Capital Region Community Foundation in December.

He is a 1970 graduate of Dartmouth College, where he played defensive safety for the Ivy League's winningest football team during that span, and he sang in Dartmouth's close harmony vocal group.

His wife, Peggy, has recently retired from a 30-year career in social services, and is serving as president of the board of the Fenner Nature Conservancy in Lansing. 

Jack and Peggy are passionate world travelers and have two grown sons: John, who - with his partner, Liliana Garces - are on the school of education faculty at Penn State University; and Luke, who - with his wife, Alison - are international school educators in Wuxi, China.