EAST LANSING, Mich. – Dec. 10 – The Michigan High School Athletic Association’s Student Advisory Council will host its third “Battle of the Fans” contest this winter to award the top high school student cheering section in Michigan and promote the opportunity for a fun, positive cheering experience for fans supporting their teams.
A total of 27 sections submitted videos for the 2012-13 contest, and 43 schools total have submitted applications during the contest’s first two years. Buchanan was named last year’s champion and presented with a banner during the MHSAA Boys Basketball Finals at Michigan State University’s Breslin Center. Sections from Ann Arbor Gabriel Richard, Frankenmuth, Jackson Vandercook Lake and Zeeland East also were finalists last winter.
Schools are invited to submit a short video, via YouTube, of their cheering sections in action. Video submissions should be between 90 seconds and three minutes long and explain how that section meets the following contest criteria: positive sportsmanship, student body participation, school spirit, originality of cheers, organization of the group, student section leadership and fun.
The deadline for student-submitted video applications is noon Jan. 11. Five finalists including at least one Class C or D school then will be chosen and visited on a home game night by MHSAA staff and Advisory Council representatives. The MHSAA will produce a video of that finalist after each visit, with the champion being selected by the Student Advisory Council based in part on activity on the MHSAA’s social media sites.
This year’s winner will be announced Feb. 21 and recognized March 21 at the Breslin Center.
“The Battle of the Fans continues to change the fan culture at our schools,” said Andy Frushour, MHSAA director of brand management and advisor to the Student Advisory Council. “We’ve now created a library of examples of what positive sportsmanship can look like in the stands on a Friday night. We’re excited to add more to that library this winter and see what new ways our students are coming up with to cheer on their classmates.”
Contest rules, directions for submitting videos, plus links to coverage of the 2012 and 2013 finalists can be found on the MHSAA Website at www.mhsaa.com/BOTF. This year’s finalist videos, plus the announcement of the 2013-14 winner, will be published on the MHSAA Second Half site at SecondHalf.MHSAA.com.
The Student Advisory Council is made up of eight seniors and eight juniors, who each serve two-year terms. The Council acts as the voice of Michigan’s student-athletes; it serves as a student sounding board for the MHSAA’s Representative Council, assists in planning Sportsmanship Summits, Captains Clinics and other student leadership events; participates in a yearly focus group about the state of high school sports for Michigan State University’s Institute for the Study of Youth Sports and assists with medal ceremonies at MHSAA championship events.
The MHSAA is a private, not-for-profit corporation of voluntary membership by more than 1,500 public and private senior high schools and junior high/middle schools which exists to develop common rules for athletic eligibility and competition. No government funds or tax dollars support the MHSAA, which was the first such association nationally to not accept membership dues or tournament entry fees from schools. Member schools which enforce these rules are permitted to participate in MHSAA tournaments, which attract more than 1.4 million spectators each year.