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Enhancing Public Health

Due to overuse injuries from sport specialization that is too early, too intense and too prolonged, youth may be increasingly susceptible to sports-related injuries; but school sports themselves have never been safer – for obvious reasons:

  • Equipment is the best it’s ever been.
  • Coaches have never been better trained in health and safety.
  • Practice and competition rules have never been more safety conscious.
  • Officials have never had more authority to penalize unsafe play.
  • Medical care and insurance has never been as available as it is today.

Our objective is not merely to keep making school-sponsored sports safer and safer year after year. In school sports – educational athletics – we also have the objective that students learn habits of a healthy lifestyle they can carry into adulthood.

In this way, school sports mitigates some of the damage of youth sports and contributes to the general good, to improved public health in America.

All that we do has that goal, and it’s a finish line we have not yet crossed.

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About the Author

Jack Roberts

Jack Roberts has been at the helm of the MHSAA as its Executive Director since 1986, implementing programs and overseeing tournament administration and regulations for the Association which boasts 1,500 member schools, 10,000 registered officials and 13,000 head coaches.

During the last 44 years, Roberts has spoken to educator and athletic groups, business leaders and civic groups in almost every state and five Canadian provinces. He is one of the nation's most articulate advocates for educational athletics.

Roberts has served on the board of directors of the National Association of Sports Officials (NASO), is in his second term on the board of the National Federation of State High School Associations, and is the first chairman of the NFHS Network board of directors. He has been board president for the Refugee Development Center for seven years, and is a past-chair of the board of directors of the Michigan Society of Association Executives. He is vice chair and secretary of the board of trustees for the Capital Region Community Foundation.

He is a 1970 graduate of Dartmouth College, where he played defensive safety for the Ivy League's winningest football team during that span, and he sang in Dartmouth's close harmony vocal group.

His wife, Peggy, has retired from a 30-year career in social services, and is serving as president of the board of the Fenner Nature Conservancy in Lansing.