Administrators of school sports need a good answer to this question that will be posed by some people after they have discovered that a student is ineligible or a contest is forfeited.

First and foremost, we have rules because we care about kids and the outcomes of our programs.

Rules contribute to the value of participation.  Much of the value of school sports results from the standards of school sports.  Many of the benefits of school sports result from the requirements of school sports.  If we raise the bar – for example, raise the standards of eligibility and conduct – we tend to raise the value.  If we lower the bar, we tend to lower the value of participation in interscholastic athletics.

Athletics are much less capable of doing good things for kids and good things for schools and good things for their communities where there are lower standards of eligibility and conduct.

It’s the difference between tough and easy, between interscholastic and intramural, between programs with significant requirements and programs without them.

It is because we have raised the bar for interscholastic athletics, because we have rules and standards and consequences for failure to meet them, that interscholastic athletics have value to students, schools and society.

The value is not inherent merely in participation; the value is more assured in the requirements for participation.

We should make no apologies for our rules.  They’re essential to good outcomes in school sports.  Without rules followed by all participants, contest results are meaningless and the values of participation are diminished.


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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.