During the late 1980s and the entire decade of the 1990s, we made great strides with respect to sportsmanship. There were more education efforts in the form of PSAs, videos and statewide summits; there was more encouragement in the form of new awards programs for good sportsmanship; and there was more enforcement in the form of new rules and penalties for poor sportsmanship performance. The direct result was more progress during this time than in many years before and in all the years since.
We need to put our foot back on the gas pedal of good sportsmanship in this decade. It’s not corny; it’s not trite; it’s not trivial. It’s essential to educational athletics. It’s part of what defines educational athletics and distinguishes it from other kinds of sports programs by other kinds of sponsors.
We need to work on sportsmanship consciously, consistently and courageously in this first full school year of this new decade.
As part of the effort, this fall the MHSAA will conduct four sportsmanship summits: in Warren on Oct. 4, Marquette on Oct. 18, Lansing on Nov. 1 and Grand Rapids on Nov. 8. In addition, the MHSAA will continue to provide mini-grants to local schools, districts and leagues and conferences which undertake effective sportsmanship initiatives on their own.
For more information regarding the regional summits or the mini-grants, contact Andy Frushour at the MHSAA office or visit our Sportsmanship Summit Page.