Adult Fans: HS Sports' Biggest Challenge
August 27, 2019
By Karissa Niehoff, NFHS Executive Director
and Mark Uyl, MHSAA Executive Director
Inappropriate adult behavior at high school athletic events in Michigan has reached epidemic proportion.
When more than 2,000 high school athletic directors were asked in a recent national survey what they like least about their job, 62.3 percent said it was “dealing with aggressive parents and adult fans.”
And the men and women who wear the black and white stripes agree. In fact, almost 80 percent of officials quit after the first two years on the job, and unruly parents are cited as the reason why. As a result, there is a growing shortage of high school officials here in Michigan, and in some sports like wrestling, swimming & diving and track & field, the shortage is severe. No officials means no more games.
If you are a parent attending a high school athletic event this fall, you can help by following these six guidelines:
1. Act Your Age. You are, after all, an adult. Act in a way that makes your family and school proud.
2. Don’t Live Your Life Vicariously Through Your Children. High school sports are for them, not you. Your family’s reputation is not determined by how well your children perform on the field of play.
3. Let Your Children Talk to the Coach Instead of You Doing It for Them. High school athletes learn how to become more confident, independent and capable — but only when their parents don’t jump in and solve their problems for them.
4. Stay in Your Lane. No coaching or officiating from the sidelines. Your role is to be a responsible, supportive parent — not a coach or official.
5. Remember, Participating in a High School Sport Is Not About Getting a College Scholarship. According to the NCAA, only about two percent of all high school athletes are awarded a sports scholarship, and the total value of the scholarship is only about $18,000.
6. Make Sure Your Children Know You Love Watching Them Play. Do not critique your child’s performance on the car ride home. Participating in high school sports is about character development, learning and having fun — not winning and losing.
Purchasing a ticket to a high school athletic event does not give you the right to be rude, disrespectful or verbally abusive. Cheer loud and be proud, but be responsible and respectful. The future of high school sports in Michigan is dependent on you.
The Michigan High School Athletic Association (MHSAA) is one of 51 members of the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS).
This Week in High School Sports: 3/15/23
By Jon Ross
MHSAA Director of Broadcast Properties
March 15, 2023
This week's edition reviews the MHSAA Ice Hockey Finals, awards Game Balls to standouts in gymnastics and basketball, explains basketball replay rules and closes with highlights from the Lower Peninsula Boys Swimming & Diving Finals.
The 5-minute program each week includes feature stories from MHSAA.com or network affiliates, along with "Be the Referee," a 60-second look at the fine art of officiating.
"This Week in High School Sports" is powered by MI Student Aid, a part of the Office of Postsecondary Financial Planning located within the Michigan Department of Treasury.
Listen to this week's show by Clicking Here.
March 8: Individual Wrestling Finals review, Competitive Cheer Finals highlights - Listen
March 1: Midland heroes, Team Wrestling Finals review - Listen
Feb. 22: Basketball Districts begin, Finals cap Upper Peninsula swimming & diving season - Listen
Feb. 15: Hockey tournament changes, MHSAA social media - Listen
Feb. 8: Winter Postseason Starts, Scholar-Athlete Award - Listen
Feb. 1: Kent City coach Jill Evers, "Officials Appreciation Week" - Listen
Jan. 25: Historic hoops wins, Michigan's national ranking in sports participation - Listen
Jan. 18: Brad Bush joins MHSAA, Al DeMott sets coaching record - Listen
Jan. 4: Winter Championships, Officials Recruitment - Listen
Nov. 23: 8-Player Football Finals, Lower Peninsula Girls Swimming & Diving Finals, Volleyball Finals - Listen
Nov. 18: Concussion Myths, Navea Gauthier's record-setting Shelby volleyball season - Listen
Nov. 11: Lower Peninsula Cross Country, Boys Soccer Finals review - Listen
Nov. 2: Football Playoffs Week 1 notables, Fall 2022 championships and broadcasts - Listen
Oct. 26: Football Playoffs pairings selection, Upper Peninsula Cross Country Finals - Listen
Oct. 19: Sunday Selection Show, Lower Peninsula Girls Golf & Boys Tennis Finals - Listen
Oct. 12: 25th Women In Sports Leadership Conference highlights - Listen
Oct. 5: Upper Peninsula Girls Tennis Finals champions, Rockford's Anna Tracey - Listen
Sept. 28: MHSAA Sportsmanship Summits return, Owosso's Macy Irelan - Listen
Sept. 21: MHSAA/Farm Bureau Insurance Scholar-Athlete Awards, Marquette's Maddy Stern - Listen
Sept. 14: MHSAA record books, Detroit Renaissance's Kaila Jackson - Listen
Sept. 7: Sports Participation rebounding, Paw Paw's Paige Miller - Listen
Aug. 31: Michigan Power Ratings and soccer seeding, Fenton's Gracie Olsen - Listen
Aug. 24: Redesigned MHSAA.com, key dates and how to watch football in 2022 - Listen