Things change; lessons are the same

February 29, 2012

Let's start with the obvious: High school sports have evolved a bit since 1927.

But the MHSAA Bulletin from March of that year -- dug up by one of our directors on another research pursuit -- reminds us how some of our challenges remain the same.

Below are a few excerpts from the section titled "Baseball and Sportsmanship." Keep in mind, baseball was the football and basketball of the first half of the 1900s. The 1927 New York Yankees arguably were the greatest baseball team of all-time, finishing 110-44 thanks to Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig and others. 

Those names alone make us think in a historical context -- which makes the parallel between today and the following that much more intriguing:

Baseball games furnish a difficult problem to schools in the matter of sportsmanship, spectator control and their education.

Many more people are familiar with the game of baseball and its rules than is true of either football or basketball. Consequently, they feel even more qualified to criticize.

In many places, absence of seating facilities bring the spectators into close proximity to players with the result that criticism of players and of the official and sometimes abusive remarks to the visiting team can occur. No school can hope to improve this situation by ignoring it.

The MHSAA Bulletin went on to cite suggestions for improvement that had been published by the Delaware association. Again, a sampling:

Treat the visiting team as guests, not as deadly enemies. Small youngsters often offend through ignorance. Educate them along this line.

Fair and impartial applause of good plays by either side should be encouraged in the student body, and the outside fans will soon fall in line.

"Razzing" or "riding" visiting players is poor sportsmanship.

Caution your boys to pay no attention to the "grandstand experts" who feel it their duty to offer suggestions as to the work of the team. They can sometimes do more harm in an hour than can be overcome in days of practice.

And a final note from the 1927 MHSAA on the subject:

An athletic contest properly staged and handled creates a favorable impression on the part of visitors toward your school and community. A game that deteriorates into a backyard squabble hurts not only the school and its executives, but the town as well.

Applications Available for 2022-23 Scholar-Athlete Awards

By Geoff Kimmerly senior editor

October 26, 2022

One of the Michigan High School Athletic Association’s most popular programs, the Scholar-Athlete Award, will again with Farm Bureau Insurance present 32 $2,000 scholarships to top student-athletes at member high schools during the 2022-23 school year.

The MHSAA/Farm Bureau Insurance Scholar-Athlete Award highlights the value extracurricular activities play in the total education of high school students, often improving their academic achievements in the process. The Scholar-Athlete Award is in its 34th year. Since the award’s inception in 1988-89, Farm Bureau Insurance has presented $960,000 in scholarships through this program.

The first 30 scholarships will be presented on a graduated basis across the MHSAA’s traditional class structure. From Class A schools, six boys and six girls will receive scholarships; from Class B schools, four boys and four girls; from Class C schools, three boys and three girls; and from Class D schools, two boys and two girls will be honored. The final two scholarships will be awarded at-large to minority recipients, regardless of school size. The scholarships may be used at the institution of higher learning the recipients attend during the first year at those colleges.

Applications from individual schools will be limited to the number of available scholarships in their enrollment class. Class A schools may submit the names of six boys and six girls, Class B schools may submit four boys and four girls, Class C may submit three boys and three girls and Class D may submit two boys and two girls.

Students applying for Scholar-Athlete Awards must be graduating during the 2022-23 school year, be carrying an unrounded 3.5 (on a 4.0 scale) grade-point average and have won a varsity letter in a sport in which the MHSAA sponsors a postseason tournament: baseball, girls and boys basketball, girls and boys bowling, girls competitive cheer, girls and boys cross country, football, girls and boys golf, girls gymnastics, ice hockey, girls and boys lacrosse, girls and boys skiing, girls and boys soccer, softball, girls and boys swimming & diving, girls and boys tennis, girls and boys track & field, girls volleyball and wrestling.

Applicants will be required to show involvement in other school and community activities and submit an essay on the importance of sportsmanship in educational athletics. 

Information – including answers to a number of frequently asked questions – and links to the application are available online on the Scholar-Athlete Award page. Applications are available in digital format only and must be submitted online by 4 p.m. Dec. 2.

A committee composed of school administrators from across the state will select finalists and winners in late January, with the winners to be announced throughout February. All applicants, finalists and scholarship recipients will be announced on the MHSAA Website. The 32 scholarship recipients will be recognized during the 2023 MHSAA Boys Basketball Finals at the Breslin Student Events Center in East Lansing.

Farm Bureau Insurance of Michigan was founded in 1949 by Michigan farmers who wanted an insurance company that worked as hard as they did. Those values still guide the company today and are a big reason why it is known as Michigan’s Insurance Company, dedicated to protecting the farms, families, and businesses of this great state. Farm Bureau Insurance agents across Michigan provide a full range of insurance services—life, home, auto, farm, business, retirement, Lake Estate®, and more— protecting more than 660,000 Michigan residents.

The MHSAA is a private, not-for-profit corporation of voluntary membership by more than 1,500 public and private senior high schools and junior high/middle schools which exists to develop common rules for athletic eligibility and competition. No government funds or tax dollars support the MHSAA, which was the first such association nationally to not accept membership dues or tournament entry fees from schools. Member schools which enforce these rules are permitted to participate in MHSAA tournaments, which attract more than 1.3 million spectators each year.