I don’t write much about high school tennis, but I probably should.
It’s a terrific “lifetime” sport. It’s a sport we can play into our “golden years;” and, without officials to make the calls, it also has the potential to teach lifetime values.
But no sport we administer gives us more headaches. Too often we encounter overly-involved parents and under-involved school administrators; and we’re not certain if one doesn’t cause the other.
It’s a sport that brings chronic complaints of coaches “stacking” lineups. So serious have the allegations been for so long that the MHSAA actually convened a group and hired a professional facilitator to try to resolve some of the problems, without much success.
It’s a sport that devotes hundreds of hours to seeding; and while the seeds almost always hold up, criticism flies fast and furious for several days each fall and spring following the boys and girls seeding committee meetings.
We are fortunate that the MHSAA’s administrator for tennis, Gina Mazzolini, has the perspective that, in spite of everything, it’s really only a small percentage of people involved who create the majority of problems. It is, in fact, according to Gina, a fine educational experience for the vast majority of students involved.
This “big picture” perspective that Gina exhibits is what allows administrators at the local and statewide levels to remain passionate about their service no matter how prominent or persistent the problems seem.