Full Decade Price Freeze

September 15, 2011

The 2011-12 school year marks the 10th consecutive year of no increase in MHSAA Regional tournament tickets for football and boys and girls basketball; and it’s the ninth consecutive year without increase at the District level of those tournaments.  This is noteworthy on at least three levels.

First, it means parents, grandparents, neighbors and friends on fixed incomes or struggling through a fickle economy have experienced no new costs to support their local school teams over the past decade.

Second, it means that what were the MHSAA’s largest revenue sources – gate receipts from District and Regional tournaments of football, boys basketball and girls basketball – have not been used to support the MHSAA’s expanding services.

Finally, when the freeze on ticket prices is combined with the freefall of girls and boys basketball attendance since the change of girls basketball season to the winter (the four-year average total attendance is down 9.3 percent for the girls tournament and down 21.1 percent for the boys tournament), the overall effect on the MHSAA’s operational budget is dramatic.

To compensate, the MHSAA has cut expenses and created new revenue sources.  For years, MHSAA tournaments produced more than 90 percent of the MHSAA’s revenue.  In 2010-11, it was less than 80 percent.  The 2011-12 target is less than 75 percent.

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.