Records To Be Updated On Regular Basis
EAST LANSING, Mich. - Aug. 18 - The Michigan High School Sports Record Book takes on a different look as the 2000-01 athletic year begins, becoming a feature of the Michigan High School Athletic Association's Web Site.
The record book, which has been printed as part of the MHSAA's annual Book of Champions beginning in 1982, saw rapid expansion in the past five years, growing from eight pages in the back of the publication to over 40 pages in the book reviewing the 1999-00 school year, and the placement of the information on the Internet by MHSAA Historian Ron Pesch of Muskegon.
This year, the record information which appears in the Book of Champions will be a combined list of MHSAA information and data from Pesch. The result is the most comprehensive document of its type ever assembled for Michigan high school athletics.
Beginning August 25, a new link will be available on the home page of the MHSAA Web Site (www.mhsaa.com) called "Record Book." Clicking the link will take visitors to a menu where they can click on the sport they wish to view records for.
"People will find that some sports have more listings than others," said John Johnson, communications director for the MHSAA, "and that is a direct result of the submissions that have come to this office and Ron Pesch. We have tried very hard to encourage information to be submitted in all sports, and hopefully, by adding the information to the MHSAA Web Site, it will stimulate more contributions.
"These lists will be a continual work-in-progress," Johnson added. "What you always hope is that someone will see a list and say, 'I know of a performance that was better,' and then get in contact with us."
Information about submitting potential records will also be available on the Web Site. Appropriate documentation, such as statistical summaries or newspaper clippings, should be provided. Johnson stressed the need for people to be proactive in submitting information.
"It happens quite often that someone has a performance that tops a category in the record book, reports to the local media that it happened, and then never follows up with us. It's impossible for our staff and Ron Pesch to track all the local media, so we hope that people will bring potential records to our attention as they occur."
Pesch will coordinate all submissions, and once verified, will amend the records on the MHSAA Web Site on a regular basis.
"People will have to show some patience as we update the Web Site," Johnson said. "Just because the Internet is an instant medium, it doesn't mean that information will be posted as soon as it is received. It hasn't been unusual for someone to send an e-mail to Ron one day with information, and then complain to him the next day because his on-line list wasn't updated with that information. It takes time to verify records, and while Ron won't update the Web Site daily, he will update on a schedule that will recognize the performances of teams and individuals in a more timely manner than we have been able to in the past, and one that will encourage people to come back and visit the site more often."
The MHSAA Web Site attracts approximately 1,000 unique visitors daily, and during tournaments, that number increases to an average of approximately 2,500. The Web Site hit a high last March with over one million hits in a single day while the Lower Peninsula Individual Wrestling Finals, Lower Peninsula Girls Gymnastics Finals, Lower Peninsula Boys Swimming and Diving Finals, Ice Hockey Finals, Girls Volleyball Regionals and Boys Basketball Districts were taking place.
The MHSAA is a private, not-for-profit corporation of voluntary membership by over 1,300 public and private senior high schools and junior high/middle schools which exists to develop common rules for athletic eligibility and competition. No government funds or tax dollars support the MHSAA, which was the first such association nationally to not accept membership dues or tournament entry fees from schools. Member schools which enforce these rules are permitted to participate in MHSAA tournaments conducted in 12 sports for girls and 12 sports for boys which attract approximately 1.3 million spectators each year.