During the summer weeks, "From the Director" will bring to you some of our favorite entries from previous years. Today's blog first appeared Aug. 9, 2011.

While examining some ancient fabrics at the Viking Ship Museum in Oslo, Norway, my wife explained to me the “warp and weft” of weaving – how the vertical fibers are the warp and the horizontal fibers are the weft.

What intrigued me about the ancient remnants was that the vertical fibers of wool had survived the centuries so much better than the left-to-right-fibers of linen and silk. I was informed that the vertical fibers (the warp) gave the fabric its durability, while the horizontal fibers (the weft) provided the design. And the strength lasted long after the color had faded.

My vacationing mind then jumped quickly across the ocean and centuries to my working preoccupation with the essentials of school-based sports. I reflected on how certain principles on which educational athletics are based have withstood challenge after challenge over time, even as some of the earlier features of school sports have faded.

This travel memory will serve as a reminder to me to focus on the fundamentals – on those core values of school sports that are essential and allow us to claim that the programs are educational – and to worry less about the superficial features that will inevitably change with the trends and fads over the years. Determining which is which – distinguishing fundamentals from fads – is one of the challenges the leaders of school sports must face.

Posted in: Perspective


joe smith
Sunday, July 14, 2013 12:18 PM
your story fundamentals vs fads is interesting to me to, when I see the participation numbers for girls that wrestle since the mhsaa has kept records its clear there is consistantsy for over 15 years and with the need for another girls winter sport (the school I went to has only 3 girls winter sports basketball bowling and cheer) bowling and most of the time cheer competed away from school, it seems to me there is a need for a separate girls sport and girls wrestling isn't a fad its grown in high schools in the U.S. every year for 22 years and by percentage is the fastest growing sport for girls at the high school level I hope the mhsaa can find a way to end boy vs girl wrestling its not good for boys or girls and if the mhsaa added it as a winter sport you would see a flood of girls wanting to compete, the school I graduated from had 7 varsity girl bowlers and 10 basketball players not sure about cheer.

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From the Director

From the Director is the official MHSAA Blog which will touch on pertinent school sports topics periodically throughout the school year from various MHSAA Staff.