This question was posed to me by a colleague last fall: “How does your state association define education-based athletics and activities?”
My response was as follows:
“Defining and defending educational athletics is one of the MHSAA’s four focus topics of 2016-17. We are striving to encourage and equip our core constituency to ‘blow their own horns’ about the values of school sports, the benefits of multi-sport participation and the meaning of success in educational athletics.
“To us, educational athletics is school-sponsored and student-centered, where the concern is for the whole child. It is local and inexpensive for both participants and spectators. It is amateur. It is inclusive, with as much potential to provide physical, mental and emotional lessons at the junior high/middle school level as the high school level, and in subvarsity programs as varsity programs, and in low profile sports as high profile sports.
“The programs are extracurricular: after the school day is when they should usually occur, and they are after academics in importance. They support the academic mission of schools.
“Educational athletics is not a right but a privilege available to students who meet the standards of eligibility and conduct established by the sponsoring school.”
I hope you agree.