Philosophy of Middle Level Activities
An understanding of the physical, social, and emotional complexities and of the great variation among students at the middle level is of vital importance in developing a philosophy for activities at this level.
A wide variety of activities, both non-athletic and athletic, should be available to middle level students. As a rule, they should not interfere or distract from instructional time. The emphasis should be on creating a worthwhile and enjoyable experience for students, while broadening their education in areas such as sportsmanship, leadership, citizenship, and participation in life-long activities. Middle level activities should help each student gain the knowledge and skills associated with the activity for his or her enjoyment and benefit.
Position Statement Guidelines
- "Middle level schools should focus on creating teaching and learning environments which are developmentally appropriate for young adolescents" (McEwin, Dickinson & Jenkins, 1996) in the total academic/athletic curriculum.
- Schools should give priority to strong, well-organized intramural activity programs which are based on the assessed needs of students. Interscholastic activity programs should maximize student participation and develop out of these intramural programs.
- Middle level activities should be encouraged at local and/or league levels with a limited number of contests and should not be carried to the levels of state competition.
- Decisions regarding intramural and interscholastic activity programs should be governed by a sincere concern for the safety, health, developmental needs, and educational well-being of middle level students by providing an enjoyable experience for all participants.
- It is recommended that all middle level coaches meet the Coaches' Eligibility Standards set by the MPA. All middle level coaches should be responsible to the principal/athletic director.
- Programs should exist to develop good citizenship, leadership, and character. They should teach common courtesy and respect for rules and organizations by persistently teaching principles of justice, fair play, and good sportsmanship, and by emphasizing the discipline required in extensive training and practice.
- When working with others in a democratic society, a person must develop self-discipline, respect for authority, and the spirit of hard work and sacrifice. The team and its objectives should be placed higher than personal desires.
- Middle level activities should help students to develop desirable personal health habits, to be active contributing school citizens, and to maintain physical fitness through exercise and sound health habits.
- Equitable Programming - - Reasonable playing time for athletes should be assigned in each contest provided that each athlete has put forth appropriate effort and commitment to the teams. The philosophy of the program is to provide a quality developmental athletic activity for all students.