News From Terre Haute, Indiana

Flashpoint

January 15, 2012

FLASHPOINT: Putting fairness first

This time of year, with chords of Auld Lang Syne still ringing in our ears, it’s not uncommon or unnatural to think of days gone by as being more desirable than the era we live in today.  

And while the nostalgic emails that frequently are circulated do an outstanding job of glorifying the past, is there any among us who would actually trade the great performance, dependability and gas mileage of our present vehicle for that of a ’57 Desoto or my beloved ’74 Ford Pinto? Would we rather use a dial telephone instead of a smartphone? Would we choose to listen to music from our 8-track players instead of a CD or iPod?

It was nearly 58 years ago, March 1954, when tiny Milan defeated powerhouse Muncie Central in an Indiana high school state championship basketball game that has launched successful business careers, inspired the production of world famous motion pictures, and contributed mightily to the folklore of our great state. That historic game is part of our heritage, and we enthusiastically embrace it.

However, in 1996 approximately two-thirds of the state’s high school principals in Indiana voted — not just once, but twice — in favor of class sports. They were acknowledging what high school administrators in 47 states had already come to realize — specifically, that large schools enjoy a significant competitive, and fundamentally unfair, advantage over their smaller counterparts. 

Along with the institution of class sports, the IHSAA By-Laws were also amended to permit any high school in the state to move up one or more classes in any sport should they choose to do so. This has very rarely happened because administrators know their schools have the fairest chance to vie for tournament success when they compete against schools of equal size.

In large part, the mission of the IHSAA is to maintain a level playing field so that every student-athlete who chooses to participate has a fair and equal chance to succeed. This has become an increasingly challenging task given all the changes in education that are taking place in our state, and we still have much to accomplish. For example, a continued debate rages with regard to public vs. private school competition. Our organization continues to study this topic and proposals to address this issue will appear on the agenda of the annual meeting of the IHSAA Board of Directors this spring.

However, when it comes to class sports, I can say with confidence that the IHSAA’s priorities are in place. We continue to put fairness first. We wouldn’t pit a 3,500-student school against a 300-student school in an IHSAA basketball tournament any more than we would match a 198-pound wrestler against a youngster that weighs 106 pounds.

The IHSAA emphatically promotes respect for the rules, sportsmanlike conduct, and fair play among its 408 member schools and 160,000 student athletes. While my memories of classic cars, the party line telephone, drive-in restaurants and sock hops are indelibly etched in my psyche, the past is not a place of residence. The future of education-based athletics in Indiana holds great promise, and the current structure of class sports continues to permit a greater number of our young people opportunities to experience the valuable benefits of participation.

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
Flashpoint
Latest News
TribStar.com Poll
AP Video
Raw: Big Rig Stuck in Illinois Swamp Raw: Air Algerie Crash Site in Mali Dempsey: Putin May Light Fire and Lose Control Raw: Iowa Police Dash Cam Shows Wild Chase Ohio State Marching Band Chief Fired After Probe Kangaroo Goes Missing in Oklahoma Crashed Air Algerie Plane Found in Mali Gaza Residents Mourn Dead Amid Airstrikes Raw: Deadly Tornado Hits Virginia Campground Police: Doctor Who Shot Gunman 'Saved Lives' Raw: Air Algerie Flight 5017 Wreckage Power to Be Restored After Wash. Wildfire In Case of Fire, Oxygen Masks for Pets Israel Mulls Ceasefire Amid Gaza Offensive Mobile App Gives Tour of Battle of Atlanta Sites Anti-violence Advocate Killed, but Not Silenced. Arizona Prison Chief: Execution Wasn't Botched Kerry: No Deal Yet on 7-Day Gaza Truce Raw: Protesters, Soldiers Clash in West Bank Judge Faces Heat Over Offer to Help Migrant Kids
NDN Video
Big Weekend For Atlanta Braves In Cooperstown - @TheBuzzeronFox Chapter Two: Becoming a first-time director What's Got Jack Black Freaking Out at Comic-Con? Doctors Remove 232 Teeth From Teen's Mouth Bradley Cooper Explains His Voice in 'Guardians of the Galaxy' Deja vu: Another NYPD officer choke-holding a suspect 'Fifty Shades of Grey': Watch the Super Sexy First Trailer Now! Reports: Ravens RB Ray Rice Suspended For 1st 2 Games Of The Season Air Algerie plane with 119 on board missing over Mali Diamond Stone, Malik Newman, Josh Jackson and others showcase talent Free Arturo - The World's Saddest Polar Bear A Look Back at Batman On Film Through The Years LeBron James -- Dropped $2k On Cupcake Apology ... Proceeds To Benefit Charity Snoop Dogg Says He Smoked Weed at the White House Raw: Fight Breaks Out in Ukraine Parliament Chris Pratt Interrupts Interview To French Braid Intern's Hair Shirtless Super Mario Balotelli Dances While Ironing - @TheBuzzeronFOX Whoa! Watch "Housewives" Star Do the Unthinkable LeBron apologizes to neighbors with cupcakes Justin Bieber In Calvin Klein Underwear Shoot
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
  • -

     

    March 12, 2010

activity