Sometimes our meeting agendas give the impression that junior high/middle school programs are unimportant or an afterthought; but that was not the case during the MHSAA Representative Council meeting May 5 and 6, and it will not be the case at many meetings throughout the next 12 months at least.
Here are just two of the tough multi-faceted topics that the Representative Council has asked to be addressed at constituent meetings from now through next February and will be studied by the MHSAA Junior High/Middle School Committee, Classification Committee and many of the MHSAA’s separate sport committees:
Should the MHSAA provide rules, programs and services for 6th-graders who, in nearly 80 percent of situations, are located in the same buildings with 7th and 8th-graders? Does the MHSAA’s lack of involvement encourage the same by schools, and allow non-school programs to fill the resulting void; and does this drive those students away from school-based sports permanently? Or would the MHSAA’s involvement at this level pressure school districts to add sixth grade programs and services at a time of dwindling resources for the 7-12 grade program?
We have always maintained that there is at least as much potential for school-based sports to benefit both kids and their schools at the junior high/middle school level as at the high school. Our agendas for the next year will have that belief as its foundation as these tough topics get the time they deserve.
From the Director is the official MHSAA Blog which will touch on pertinent school sports topics periodically throughout the school year from various MHSAA Staff.