October 31, 2017

In addition to daily calls, texts, emails and old-fashioned mail delivery, Michigan High School Athletic Association staff engaged face to face with its core constituents in these ways from August of 2016 through July of 2017:

  • More than 350 local school visits, including:
    • Approximately 120 to attend regular season local contests to evaluate officials for MHSAA tournament readiness.
    • More than 60 to support or evaluate MHSAA pre-Final tournament events.
    • More than 60 to speak at or support MHSAA CAP sessions (plus 25 CAP sessions at the MHSAA building).
    • 12 for MHSAA.TV, NFHS Network or School Broadcast Program.
    • 6 for Second Half website features.
    • 6 for new school orientation.
    • 5 for Battle of the Fans (each involving 3 MHSAA staff).
    • 5 for officiating classes.
    • 2 for Reaching Higher (each involving 4 or more staff).
  • More than 60 local officials association visits, including:

    • 45 for rules meetings/presentations.

Plus 8 visits to officials camps,
         5 presentations to college officiating classes, and
         9 officiating recruitment events.

  • More than 50 coaches association meetings.
    • 24 for MHSAA rules meetings/presentations.
    • 6 for CAP programs.

Plus the Coaches Association Presidents dinner at the MHSAA office involving 9 MHSAA staff.

  • More than 50 league meetings, including:
    • 8 to conduct student leadership or sportsmanship events or for team captains clinics (usually involving multiple MHSAA staff).
    • 8 to provide event marketing assistance.
    • 7 to provide MHSAA information/updates.
    • 6 to provide MHSAA rules meetings/presentations.
    • 3 for ArbiterGame training (usually involving 2 or more MHSAA staff).

Plus the League Leadership Meeting at the MHSAA office involving most MHSAA staff.

  • More than 15 MIAAA meetings.
    • 10 MHSAA staff at the March conference.
    • 2 MHSAA staff at the summer workshop.
    • 2 to 4 MHSAA staff at most board meetings.
    • At least 1 staff at multiple committee meetings, strategic planning, etc.
  • More than 50 standing committees, task forces and ad hoc study groups convened at the MHSAA office, and several did so multiple times.

What is abundantly clear here is that the MHSAA staff does not operate from an ivory tower or information vacuum.

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.