Adult Errors
Adult Errors
Blog: From the Director
Posted Friday, February 26, 2016

Every month, the MHSAA Executive Committee considers requests to waive eligibility rules for students. In very many cases, the student has become ineligible largely as a result of actions by others, most often a transient, broken or otherwise dysfunctional domestic environment.

While the Executive Committee starts the consideration of every case with a bias toward helping the student, the Executive Committee does not accept as a blanket excuse, “It wasn’t the student’s fault.” That alone will not win a waiver for the student.

When schools utilize an ineligible player in competition, resulting in forfeiture of the contest, it is almost always an inadvertent violation, often an administrative oversight. Once again, there is an inclination for people to appeal the required forfeit because, “It wasn’t the kids’ fault.”

Every third year or so, a school team will participate in more than the maximum number of contests or days of competition permitted during the regular season, and lose its MHSAA postseason participation privileges in that sport. Again, this is almost always an administrative misunderstanding ... “an adult’s error which shouldn’t penalize the team.” Again, “It wasn’t the kids’ fault.”

If every rule was unenforceable when it was an adult’s error, not a student’s fault, there would be few enforceable rules in school sports, and increasing disregard for rules. It has been encouraging to have so many people contact the MHSAA office in support of that message.


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