Why high school athletics needs rules

Rules are often viewed as roadblocks for our ultimate goals, whether in life or in high school athletics. But rules are critical to the moral structure in our everyday life, and even more formative to our children in those sports and activities they play.

High school athletics and activities playing rules are about education, about teaching our young people to work within a structured system. Rules add value to those games and enhance the life lessons learned in an appropriate educational setting.

Simply by participating, our children learn many valuable lessons, but those lessons are enriched by the standards and expectations demanded of them under the Colorado High School Activities Association by-laws and the playing rules developed by the National Federation of State High School Associations. These rules provide a reason to play, provide the legitimacy for the results of the games.

Under CHSAA rules, students earn their participation opportunities through their performance in the classroom.

Rather than look at rules as roadblocks, we need to encourage our student participants, their parents and our communities to view rules as a means to improve our society, the moral structure by which we all live.

Rules raise expectations. Higher expectations yield greater results. Rules establish a level playing field and give participants a place to start their ascent to the adult world. Rules begin the structure from which our ethics and principles develop.

Without everyone playing by, and knowing, the rules, making a basket, sinking a putt, spiking a ball is meaningless. Structure, rules create the learning environment children need to succeed in life.