Middle Schools


This is really the best time ever for school sports. It’s just a lot harder to operate today than 55 or 60 years ago.

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All of this is under the over-arching goal to involve more students in school-sponsored sports at younger ages . . .

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This is where I get a “fix.” This is where I discover the antidote for creeping cynicism.

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If the board is always in total agreement, then management is not bringing the board tough enough topics. The subjects are not serious enough.

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The less connected that junior high/middle school level programs are to high school programs today, the more problems the high school programs will have tomorrow . . .

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Two first, small steps have been taken in the direction of making school-sponsored sports for junior high/middle school-age athletes more attractive to these students and their parents.

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While I’m a fan of school sports, I recognize that an athletic program has as much potential to do harm as to do good.

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They settled arguments on the spot. They had to bring their own equipment, and take care of it. And if the ball went out of play, they had to hunt for it until they found it . . .

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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.