Most students would rather play sports than watch other people play.

This is obvious; but often we make both little decisions and large ones that seem to ignore this truth. More often than necessary we create more opportunities for watchers than we do for players.

Ultimately this leads to non-watchers because people – especially young people – tend to lose interest when they don’t play. We know this because, in school after school, we find that the best boosters – the most frequent and fervent spectators – are the students who participate on their school’s other teams.

It is also true that those who played sports when they were in school, and those whose children now play in school sports, are the people who will support schools most strongly in the future.

This too seems obvious, but still, many school districts all across this state and nation appear to make decisions like it has never occurred to them.

Every time we cut a kid from a high school team, we create critics of our programs – the student’s parents today and this student in the future. If the program has no room for a student today, why would we ever expect that student or his/her parents will support our programs tomorrow?

No-cut policies for all outdoor sports and larger squads for indoor sports – beginning at younger grade levels – will be among the policies of school districts which hope to retain school sports beyond the next generation or two.


Paul Capodilupo
# Paul Capodilupo
Wednesday, December 18, 2013 3:27 PM
I completely agree with your blog. Over the past 15 years I have watched my own kids and many others turned away from participation in extracuricular school sponsored athletic programs. The basketball season, which is now underway, is the sport that poses the greatest challenge to include all those that are interested and willing to put forth the effort required. It has not only been the physical space limitations but more-so the attitudes of those in charge of the programs. After unsuccessfully trying to convice our local junior high coaches, principal, athletic director, superintendent and prior school bord to include more kids, I ran for the school board with the mission to change the policy. After now serving 4 years on the Gladstone School District Board of Education I am proud to say that two years ago we unanimously implemented a very reasonable no-cut policy for the middle school and a policy that encourages coaches at the higher levels to "include as many students as possible." I would encourage other school boards to visit our web site and view the policy. This years 7th and 8th grade boys basketball teams both have higher than traditional numbers (17 and 19). The coaches and volunteer assistants have done a stellar job making it work, and while I have heard some negative criticism from some of the parents about how it has hurt their childs athletic career, I am yet to hear an argument that convinces me it is better to turn a young man away from the gym than to give him the opportunity to prove himself.
One suggestion I would have for the MHSAA is to consider extending the season length, number of maximum games, or game time limits at the middle school level to help compete with the ever-encroaching threat from post season travel ball. The post season tends to be dominated by parents that have a limited view of what entails a successful program.
I would like to thank Mr. Roberts for his 25 plus years of service to Michigan School athletics. His writings and philosophy have been an inspiration for my work within our district.
Sincerely, Paul Capodilupo, Treasurer Gladstone School District Board of Education.
Friday, March 1, 2019 10:15 AM
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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.