Choices & Voices

September 16, 2016

How should a statewide high school athletic association operate?

In a general sense, it should give choices and voices to its membership. It should describe possible solutions to problems that face school sports, and it should provide a forum for members to express their opinions.

As we embark on the 39th year of Michigan High School Athletic Association Update meetings across the state, and 28th year of Athletic Director In-Service programs at many venues, our purpose is to enable this engagement through presentations, discussions, straw polls and formal surveys.

The top topics will again be those that are most important to the fabric and future of school-sponsored sports, even if they are not the fad of the day or the fetish of media. These are:

  • Defining & Defending Educational Athletics
  • Promoting & Protecting Participant Health
  • Serving & Supporting Junior High/Middle School Programs
  • Recruiting & Retaining Contest Officials

Schedule and Registration

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.