Injecting Sports Medicine

May 13, 2014

We are receiving the proper dosage of sports medicine advice in Michigan.
The Sports Medicine Advisory Committee of the National Federation of State High School Associations advises the NFHS and its member associations on medical and safety issues and conditions as they relate to interscholastic athletics. With nationwide expertise representing a broad range of sports medicine disciplines, the SMAC meets over three days, two times each year. It issues advisories and position statements and publishes a comprehensive manual which is provided without charge to each member high school in Michigan. 
The MHSAA has had direct representation on the SMAC for two separate four-year terms; and we depend on the SMAC to monitor, evaluate, filter and disseminate current sports medicine information that is of practical use at the interscholastic level.
The SMAC and the Michigan Department of Community Health are the voices the MHSAA listens to most in the often over-hyped cacophony of sports medicine opinion. What makes the SMAC even more unique than its prestigious panel of experts is that it has direct input into the rules-making process of the NFHS which dominates the publishing of high school playing rules. The MHSAA adopts those rules in every MHSAA sport for which rules are prepared by the NFHS.
The MHSAA has sometimes been criticized for not having its own sports medicine committee. However, we believe there is no need to create another committee to duplicate the work of the NFHS Sports Medicine Committee. And when we have needed extra attention to a unique in-state topic, we have found the Michigan Department of Community Health to be a willing and able partner.

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.