Junior High School

 

26

Here is where education prevails over entertainment in interscholastic athletics.  Here is where philosophy of athletics is more in tune with the mission of the school. 

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22

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. 

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19

If the program has no room for a student today, why would we ever expect that student or his/her parents will support our programs tomorrow?

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11

What are the things we should be doing now that may not show immediate results, but are essential for securing a future for school-sponsored sports?

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12
All of this is under the over-arching goal to involve more students in school-sponsored sports at younger ages . . .

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06

New for 2016-17 is that schools may join the MHSAA at the 6th-grade level and up (not 7th). This change . . . has three obvious benefits:

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14
What we are talking about today are not only overdue changes, they are insufficient if we really want to return school sports to the central, most coveted and compelling sports experience for youth. 

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19

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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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 45 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 nine years, and is a past-chair of the board of directors of the Michigan Society of Association Executives. He is chair of the board of trustees for the Capital Region Community Foundation for 2018.

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.