Weighing Change

September 21, 2011

The national high school wrestling rules committee changed the weight classes for the 1994-95 season; and it changed them back for the 1995-96 season.

This is one of several reasons why Michigan has not adopted the national committee’s changes for the 2011-12 season.  At the very least, we’re going to wait to see if the change survives.

The 14 weight classes that will continue in Michigan are as follows:  103, 112, 119, 125, 130, 135, 140, 145, 152, 160, 171, 189, 215 and 285.

The national rules for 2011-12 are:  106, 113, 120, 126, 132, 138, 145, 152, 160, 170, 182, 195, 220 and 285.

In delaying the change for MHSAA member schools, the MHSAA Representative Council listened to the overwhelming sentiments of the state’s high school wrestling coaches.  Many have criticized the new weight classes because they eliminate a middle weight where most high school wrestlers are found and they add an upper weight class where many teams already have holes in their lineup.

Standing pat also eliminates the need for new expenditures for printed materials and software programs.

The greatest inconvenience of not changing is when our schools along the borders of Indiana, Ohio and Wisconsin compete with schools of those states.  This is creating questions related to the weight monitoring program and seeding.

The MHSAA will stay in frequent, close contact with high school wrestling coaches and their administrators as future decisions are made.

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.