Committee Work

January 6, 2015

The winter months are the busiest for MHSAA committees, especially for those that must review or prepare recommendations for changes for the following school year.
Each year, up to 20 MHSAA committees consider proposals for Representative Council action relative to MHSAA tournament policies or procedures or Handbook regulations or interpretations.
During school year 2014-15, wherever applicable, the committees are being asked to address health and safety issues as well as policies and procedures relative to subvarsity and junior high/middle school students; and as a result of positive 2014 Update Meeting Opinion Poll responses, each sport committee is being asked to respond during calendar year 2015 and beyond to several concepts for MHSAA tournament seeding.
MHSAA committees are dominated by coaches, but they are not a rubber stamp for proposals that proceed from that sport’s high school coaches association. The difference of opinion often results from the committee seeing things differently than a coaches association leadership that the committee believes is not representative of schools of diverse size, location and demographics.
It is appropriate for committees to ask: Who was not in the room when this recommendation was drafted? Who will not be served well by this change?
When committees go through this process, they tend to reduce the quantity but improve the quality of recommendations to the Representative Council, which increases the percentage of recommendations the Council adopts.

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.