During the summer weeks, "From the Director" will bring to you some of our favorite entries from previous years. Today's blog first appeared Sept. 18, 2012.

Nearly 20 years ago I spoke with a parents group at an elementary school. Most in attendance were parents of elementary students. Most were moms.

During our discussion, the mothers pleaded with me – that’s not too strong a word – to help develop policies that would preserve a place on high school teams for their children. “Just a jersey,” one mom said. “Just a spot on the team.”

These parents were almost sick with worry that if their sons and daughters did not play one sport year-round, starting now, they wouldn’t make the team in high school. And they believed that not making the team would doom their children to absenteeism, drug use, pregnancy, and every evil known to youth.

They saw the high school program becoming a program for only elite athletes, only the specialists, with no room for their kids who would meet the standards of eligibility but lack the necessary athletic experience to make the team because they didn’t belong to a private club, go to all the right camps, or make a certain travel team in the third grade.

Did these parents overstate the problem? Yes. But there’s some validity in their worries.

Those moms gave me a goal, and later my own sons personalized that goal: to work for that generation of high school students and the next to preserve a place in our programs for all students, regardless of athletic ability, who meet all the essential standards of eligibility, want to participate in more than one school sport and activity and embody the spirit of being a student first in educational athletics.


Curtis stove
# Curtis stove
Friday, August 16, 2013 9:00 PM
What I am about to say may be a little controversial but I believe it needs to be said. Those parents and moms have legitimate concerns; somewhat. While organized sports are great remedies for alternatives to teen mischief, the parents should look in the mirror to find solutions to their dilemma. The effort and energy that they put to into "pleading" with you to preserve a place on the team, should have been used to help their children to accept life's disappointments; because we ALL know that disappointments are apart of life, and how one deals with such disappointments is what will determines plot in such life , NOT being made popular in the school setting by being guaranteed a place on the team. Intramural play, recreational play, serving as a statistician, student manager ect. are all very viable options to actually being on the team. I think you missed an opportunity to really tackle a very troubling issue with our society. What actually did you say to these parents?

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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.