Governance of High School Athletics Must Remain with State Associations



Governance of High School Athletics Must Remain with State Associations


Dr. Karissa L. Niehoff, NFHS Chief Executive Officer

@KarissaNFHS        @KarissaNFHS


Periodically, The NFHS Voice will be presented in the form of video. This week, NFHS CEO Karissa Niehoff says that a number of state high school associations are undergoing threats from their respective state legislatures. In some cases, there are bills that would strip the state association of authority to govern high school sports and place that authority in the hands of political appointees who lack the expertise to govern education-based high school activity programs. She says state associations must continue to be governed by people who work in schools and understand the educational process. The NFHS stands in support of its 51 associations to govern high school sports and performing arts programs.      

Dr. Karissa L. Niehoff is in her sixth year as chief executive officer of the NFHS, the national leader and advocate for high school sports and performing arts programs based in Indianapolis. She is the first female to head the national leadership organization for high school athletics and performing arts activities and the sixth full-time chief executive of the NFHS. She previously was executive director of the Connecticut Association of Schools-Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference for seven years.


About the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS)

The NFHS, based in Indianapolis, Indiana, is the national leadership organization for high school sports and performing arts activities. Since 1920, the NFHS has led the development of education-based interscholastic sports and performing arts activities that help students succeed in their lives. The NFHS sets direction for the future by building awareness and support, improving the participation experience, establishing consistent standards and rules for competition, and helping those who oversee high school sports and activities. The NFHS writes playing rules for 17 sports for boys and girls at the high school level. Through its 50 member state associations and the District of Columbia, the NFHS reaches more than 19,800 high schools and 12 million participants in high school activity programs, including more than 7.8 million in high school sports. As the recognized national authority on interscholastic activity programs, the NFHS conducts national meetings; sanctions interstate events; offers online publications and services for high school coaches and officials; sponsors professional organizations for high school coaches, officials, speech and debate coaches, and music adjudicators; offers online education courses for coaches, administrators, students, officials, performing arts educators, parents and others; and serves as a national information resource of interscholastic athletics and activities. For more information, visit the NFHS website at

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