Better Late Than Never

November 8, 2013

In a matter of minutes online or a matter of an hour in a bookstore, we can locate dozens of magazine articles and full-length books that describe either the blessings or burdens of all the technology that is now at our fingertips at home, at work and in play.

Every problem we have (and many we had no idea we have) seems to have a technology solution. And, it seems every solution creates new problems: from invasions of personal privacies to compromised security of children, companies and countries. And sometimes the technology breaks down altogether.

The latest and largest failure is the government’s inability to deliver on its promised online health care marketplace. Before that, we’ve seen “glitches” close down Wall Street’s NASDAQ exchange. Technology troubles recently crippled the reservation systems of 11 airlines simultaneously. Even Internet “expert” Facebook mishandled the technology for its own initial public offering.

So it has surprised few of us that the launch of ArbiterGame to solve the scheduling issues of MHSAA member schools has had many of its own issues. But we are certain of this: ArbiterGame will be successful in providing member schools the safest, most efficient and reliable electronic athletic department management system that is available, and the least expensive, anywhere.

As we began this journey in the second half of 2011 in response to a crescendo of complaints from administrators about the then-available scheduling software, we anticipated the effort to complete the project could take twice as long and cost twice as much as projected and, even if that pessimistic prediction would turn out to be true, the result would still be worth it. It is taking twice as long, and it will be worth the work and wait.

The value will be in the low cost and high convenience for school administrators, and a platform – – that presents the data in an environment that promotes the highest ideals of school sports.

Cheering for Sportsmanship

July 31, 2018

(This blog first appeared on on January 8, 2013.)

I try to start each new school year at the Michigan Interscholastic Press Association summer camp at Michigan State University. I talk briefly about who the MHSAA is and what it does; and then two or three dozen high school newspaper editors and writers ask me questions; and in doing so, they give me clues to what’s going on in our schools and what’s important to our students.

Several years ago, when I opened the session to questions, one young man asked: “Mr. Roberts, what’s your job?” I paused, and then said, “I guess I’m the head cheerleader for high school sports in Michigan.”

So then this precocious student asked: “Okay, what do you cheer for?”  With a briefer pause, this is some of what I said:

  • I cheer for sportsmanship that’s not merely good, but great.

  • I cheer for sportsmanship, not gamesmanship.

  • I cheer for playing by the rules, both the letter and the spirit.

  • I cheer for maximum effort to try to win each and every contest.

  • I don’t cheer for winning at any cost; I do cheer for learning at every opportunity.

  • I cheer for losing with grace and for winning with even greater grace, with humility and modesty.

  • I cheer for the lessons of victory and the even greater lessons of defeat.