The Maryland Public Secondary Schools Athletic Association (MPSSAA) originated in 1946 and has served Maryland public schools for over 60 years. The MPSSAA adopted its constitution on April 21, 1951 and has had 16 amendments.
Giving the MPSSAA its authority is both the Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE) and the 24 local schools systems, which are divided into nine districts. From these nine districts a Board of Control and Executive Council is constructed that is represented by school superintendents, athletic coordinators, principals, athletic directors and coaches whom govern the association.
Presiding over the association is an Executive Director and a staff appointed by the MSDE. The staff, under the Executive Director's instruction, consists of an Assistant Director, Program Specialist, Coordinator of Officials and an Administrative Assistant. The MPSSAA staff along with the Board of Control and Executive Council carries out the philosophy and purposes of the association, including making interscholastic athletics part of the entire educational program, continually developing programs to promote physical and mental safety as well as protection from exploitation and to promote fair competition and sportsmanship with all those involved.
The MPSSAA is a self-sufficient organization. The MPSSAA does not receive revenue or funds from state subsidies (taxpayer funds), school dues, tournament entry fees or publication fees. The MPSSAA does generate revenue from gate receipts from selected regional and state tournament games, sponsorships, rule book sales to outside groups, media rights, official's registration and souvenir sales.
Generated revenue is deposited into an MSDE account and is administered in accordance with state policies and procedures. Funds are then distributed from the account and directed towards tournament expenses (facility rental, security, awards, and special equipment), publications, salaries, meeting space, school travel reimbursement, rules clinics, insurance, district subsidies, office expenses and other miscellaneous expenses necessary for the daily and yearly operation of the association.
Some of the most recent highlights of the MPSSAA include the growth to 199 public high schools, supplying professional or collegiate Division I facilities for 17 out of 19 championship sites with the cross country state meet held traditionally at Hereford High School and the wrestling state dual meet championships held at various high school venues. Some of the professional and collegiate venues include the utilization of M&T Bank Stadium which is home to the Baltimore Ravens, as the location for the state football finals as well as using the University of Maryland's Comcast Center for boys' basketball and UMBC's RAC Arena for girls' basketball. Other highlights include the inaugural boys' and girls' swimming state championship in 2007 as well as the inclusion of wheelchair events in the outdoor track and field championships.
1946-1951 Thomas C. Ferguson
1951-70 Herbert R. Steiner
1970-71 Paul Rusko
1971-81 John E. Molesworth
1981-present Edward F. Sparks