Early Results

May 17, 2016

On May 3 we released a preliminary summation of results of winter season concussions reported by Michigan High School Athletic Association member schools. It was reported that 48 percent of the concussions reported were to female athletes, who make up only 38 percent of all winter season participants.

We will be digging deeper into the reports and providing a more comprehensive summary for all three seasons – fall, winter and spring; but we already see one suspected theme is being confirmed: more concussions reported for girls than for boys.

Even though girls’ participation in basketball is 36 percent lower than boys in MHSAA member high schools, there were 88 percent more concussions reported for girls than boys in that sport this past season.

We hope that researchers will step forward to inquire into the physiological, psychological, social and other reasons for the significant disparity in concussions reported by males and females; and perhaps they will be able to suggest what administrators, coaches, rule-makers and others might do in response to that research.

We expect that other themes suggested by the data from this first-year reporting requirement and then year-over-year comparisons will create interest in other research, all of which will help make school sports an even healthier experience for boys and girls than it already is.

Cheering for Sportsmanship

July 31, 2018

(This blog first appeared on MHSAA.com 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.