MHSAA Sportsmanship Efforts Go
Back to News
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 20, 1999
Contact: John Johnson or Andy Frushour
517.332.5046 or www.mhsaa.com
Providing Grants, Public Relations Kits & Parent-Targeted
EAST LANSING, Mich. - Aug. 20 - In its
ongoing efforts to promote sportsmanship in educational athletics,
the Michigan High School Athletic Association will take a more
local approach during the 1999-00 school year, providing member
schools and leagues and conferences additional resources to carry
the message to the grassroots level.
For the past two years, the Association's sportsmanship efforts
focused on its highly-successful Sportsmanship Summits. In 1997,
over 800 people attended the first Summit in Lansing, with over
100 interested parties being turned away. Last year, there were
over 1,200 present for the second Summit, with both events the
largest such gatherings ever nationally.
The next Summit is scheduled for September 27, 2000, with the
attendance goal set at 2,000 at the Lansing Center.
"While the statewide conferences really attracted a lot
of attention to what needs to be done in terms of promoting good
sportsmanship, the best efforts are still those at the local
level," said John E. "Jack" Roberts. "This
year, we're devoting our energies and resources to have our member
schools and leagues and conferences carry the message of sportsmanship
to everyone in their communities.
"There's only so much that can be done to promote sportsmanship
by the MHSAA staff," Roberts added. "The essence of
high school sports is its local flavor, and its through local
efforts that we can be the most effective in communicating the
need for good sportsmanship at school events."
The MHSAA has already begun providing mini-grants to member
schools and leagues and conferences to assist them in staging
local Sportsmanship Summits. The Association has budgeted $20,000
for the grants, which will range from $50 to $500.
In addition, the MHSAA, in cooperation with the Michigan Interscholastic
Athletic Administrators Association, is distributing its annual
Good Sports Are Winners! Sportsmanship Kit to schools this month,
as well as a new videotape on the topic which promotes good sportsmanship
on the part of parents.
Since 1989, the MHSAA has distributed sportsmanship materials
to schools they may use to come up with their own customized
sportsmanship campaign. The Good Sports Are Winners! kit has
included letters which can be sent to different groups involved
with the school sports teams, public address announcements, as
well as camera-ready materials to be used in souvenir programs.
Included in this year's kit is a special section developed by
the MIAAA, which focuses on parent behavior.
In addition, schools have already received the video, "What
Kids Wish Their Parents Knew About Sportsmanship." The
new video is a six-minute look, from a student-athlete's perspective,
at adult behavior at school-sponsored athletic events. It is
the second sportsmanship-related video the MHSAA has produced
in the last two years.
The new video is designed to be shown at pre-season meetings
many schools sponsor, as well as at booster club and school board
"Our video effort a year ago was a general look at sportsmanship,
a look at what sportsmanship is and how important it is in school-sponsored
sports," said Roberts. "What school athletic administrators,
and specifically the MIAAA, asked the MHSAA to do was promote
the fact that adult spectators must become more aware of the
need for improved sportsmanship on their part at high school
events. We're also pleased with the leadership role the MIAAA
and their member athletic directors have taken in promoting sportsmanship
at the local level.
The video, "What Kids Wish Their Parents Knew About Sportsmanship,"
can also be viewed from the MHSAA Web Sit. A Real Audio player
is required to access the video over the Internet.
The MHSAA is a private, not-for-profit corporation of voluntary
membership by over 1,300 public and private senior high schools
and junior high/middle schools which exists to develop common
rules for athletic eligibility and competition. No government
funds or tax dollars support the MHSAA, which was the first such
association nationally to not accept membership dues or tournament
entry fees from schools. Member schools which enforce these
rules are permitted to participate in MHSAA tournaments conducted
in 12 sports for girls and 12 sports for boys which attract approximately
1.3 million spectators each year.
MEDIA ADVISORY -
All outlets on the MHSAA mailing list are being sent a copy of
the 1999-00 Good Sports Are Winners! sportsmanship kit. Selected
outlets are also being sent a VHS copy of the video, "What
Kids Wish Their Parents Knew About Sportsmanship." You
may request a copy of the tape by contacting John Johnson or
Andy Frushour at the MHSAA office.