02

Push Pause

For the past 15 months, the Michigan High School Athletic Association has focused more of its precious resources of time and money on these four priorities:

  • Define and Defend Educational Athletics
  • Promote Participant Health and Safety
  • Serve and Support Junior High/Middle School Programs
  • Recruit and Retain Contest Officials

These topics were brought into focus by making time for the MHSAA staff and Representative Council to pause from the frenetic pace of everyday duties to talk about constituents’ current needs and to think about the next big things that are just down the road and perhaps around a metaphorical corner.

It is time to ignore the tyranny of the urgent, push “pause,” and engage the MHSAA staff and Representative Council once again in a time of research into and reflection about the current and near-future needs and wants of the constituents they serve. This discussion could lead anywhere, but these topics will get things started:

  • What’s next for kids that could/should involve us – e.g., Robotics? E-Games? Water Polo? Girls Field Hockey? Boys Volleyball? Girls Flag Football? Road Racing? Snowboarding? Weightlifting?
  • What’s our role with respect to special programming for students with cognitive or physical disabilities?
  • If given a windfall, how would we best spend $50,000? $250,000? $500,000?

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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, 10,000 registered officials and 13,000 head coaches.

During the last 44 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 the board of directors of the National Association of Sports Officials (NASO), is in his second term on the board of the National Federation of State High School Associations, and is the first chairman of the NFHS Network board of directors. He has been board president for the Refugee Development Center for seven years, and is a past-chair of the board of directors of the Michigan Society of Association Executives. He is vice chair and secretary of the board of trustees for the Capital Region Community Foundation.

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