Concussion Care Continuum

June 2, 2015

The concussion care continuum is of equal importance from start to finish, but some of the stops along the way are more in the MHSAA’s area of influence than others, so they are receiving more of our attention.
We would never say that removal-from-play decisions are more important than return-to-play decisions. However, because the removal decisions occur at school sports venues by school-appointed persons, while the latter are made at medical facilities by licensed medical personnel selected by students’ families, the MHSAA is giving the removal process more attention than the return.
This helps to explain why the MHSAA is orchestrating pilot programs where volunteering member schools will be testing systems during the 2015-16 school year that may assist sideline personnel at practices and contests when assessing if a concussion event has occurred and that player should be withheld from further activity that day. The buzz that these pilot programs is creating will increase everyone’s attention on improving sideline concussion management. For more information, click here.
The MHSAA has always believed it shared a role with local schools and health care facilities and professional organizations of coaches and school administrators in the education of coaches, athletes and parents. This remains our first and foremost focus on the concussion care continuum.
But the pilot programs, and more specific requirements beginning in 2015-16 to report head injury events, demonstrate that the MHSAA is moving further along the continuum to assist the entire concussion management team. As we do so, our focus is on all levels of all sports for both genders, grades 7 through 12, with attention to both practices and competition.

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.