Membership Renewal

May 23, 2017

Unlike classroom courses of our schools, the interscholastic athletic program requires opponents; and to help promote a level playing field for competition, the interscholastic athletic program requires some organization to provide a forum to assist in developing competitive standards and to help assure they are maintained. For many years, many schools have worked through the Michigan High School Athletic Association to establish a common set of rules, for the orderly administration of an interscholastic athletic program, which promotes academic integrity and competitive equity. 

According to Michigan Attorney General Opinion #4795 of 1977, any local board of education that desires to do so may voluntarily join the MHSAA by adopting the rules of the association and agreeing to enforce those rules with respect to its schools. Institutional control remains the key to this organization.

MHSAA membership is free of charge, and there is no entry fee to participate in MHSAA tournaments. But while MHSAA membership is free of costs, it’s not free of responsibilities. The expectations of member schools include:

  • Educating student-athletes, staff and other involved personnel about MHSAA rules and procedures.
  • Monitoring compliance year-around.

  • Investigating possible violations and reporting findings.

  • Administering penalties.      

Each school district that agrees to these responsibilities must say so by means of an annual board of education resolution. The resolutions have just been mailed to all superintendents for the 2017-18 school year.

Each school district that wishes one or more schools to participate in MHSAA tournaments and benefit from MHSAA services must schedule on its board of education agenda the adoption of the MHSAA Membership Resolution. The Resolution should be signed in sufficient time to prevent a lapse in membership (before August 1). A lapse in membership, even though for only a week, can create unnecessary problems should there be claims under the $1,000,000 accident medical insurance plan or the concussion care gap insurance or if eligibility rulings are to be made during that period.

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.