Membership Resolutions for the Michigan High School Athletic Association for the 2016-17 school year are now due. This is an annual rite of summer for school boards and governing bodies, intended to be a time when those entities recommit to following all the rules, all the time.
A new wrinkle in the routine is the opportunity to include 6th-graders in middle school membership. Approximately two-thirds of member middle schools are doing so.
What is not known to us through the Membership Resolution process is how those 6th-graders will be involved – where the school will have separate 6th-grade teams and where 6th-graders will be part of teams for 7th- and/or 8th-graders.
Junior high/middle schools which join the MHSAA at the 6th-grade level may allow 6th-graders to participate with 7th- and 8th-graders in individual sports (e.g., bowling, cross country, track & field, swimming & diving, tennis and wrestling). With the approval of their middle school leagues, this may occur also in team sports.
The MHSAA’s Junior High/Middle School Committee will depart from other standing committees by meeting twice during 2016-17 and subsequent school years. Its full agenda will include a review of how 6th-graders are being accommodated by middle schools and their leagues.
All of this is under the over-arching goal to involve more students in school-sponsored sports at younger ages, and to capture their interests and meet their needs within the philosophies of educational athletics.
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.