posted on November 21, 2014 03:03
We freely admit that a state high school association is much better at running tournaments than conducting research. First as athletes and then as coaches, most of us got in the habit of processing information quickly and making fast decisions. Now as administrators, our member schools depend on us for quick answers because the contest our answer may affect is scheduled this week, or tomorrow, or tonight.
However, there is a small body of research that is unique to the MHSAA. Like our counterpoint organizations across the US, we keep the regular-season and postseason tournament records and we have the data for officials registrations, student participation and tournament attendance. Our uniqueness is in two areas.
First, the MHSAA has surveyed its member schools about participation fees (a.k.a., pay-for-play) every school year since 2003-04. This is the longest running survey and largest body of information on this topic anywhere. You can find all the results at MHSAA.com here.
Second, the MHSAA has surveyed middle school students three times – in 1997-98, 2001-02, and 2008-09 – and is doing so again this month, to assess what sports they are currently engaged in and are most interested in playing as high school students.
It is this survey that was partly responsible for the MHSAA’s addition of lacrosse and bowling tournaments in 2005 and 2006, the two most recent additions to the MHSAA postseason tournament schedule.