Sometimes it takes the most exaggerated circumstances to remind us that (1) some people are (in a non-clinical sense) “crazy,” and (2) our programs need rules to protect them from such bizarre behavior.  Consider, for example . . .

  • The parent who recently brought a handgun to a youth (not school-sponsored) soccer game.
  • The 22-year-old ex-convict from Florida who masqueraded as a 16-year-old sophomore and played an entire boys basketball season for a Texas high school.
  • Any one of dozens of circumstances reported each year in Sports Illustrated’s “Sign of the Apocalypse.”

When people argue that we should rescind rules or relax penalties – that we “chill a little” – we suggest that those people pause to reflect upon the world of school sports without the restriction of the policy or the remediation of the penalty they object to.  Do they really want “anything goes?”  Do they really not see that the result would be a return of the very same problem or abuse that the rule was created to address?

One of the very important reasons (but certainly not the only reason) that interscholastic athletics have grown in participation over the past 60 years while intramural athletic programs have declined is that interscholastic programs not only stressed high participation; they also stressed high standards.  Participants and spectators alike want a regulated program.  They know the program benefits by having high standards for eligibility and conduct.

Schools risk doing great harm to school sports – perhaps permanent injury – if during these difficult financial times schools remove the features that have made these programs attractive experiences for students and effective tools for schools.  Rules – those that prescribe certain positive actions, as well as those that proscribe some negative behaviors – are among the most essential features of educational athletics.


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From the Director

From the Director is the official MHSAA Blog which will touch on pertinent school sports topics periodically throughout the school year from various MHSAA Staff.