“The most important lesson I’ve learned from sports is how to be not only a gracious winner, but a good loser as well. Not everyone wins all the time, as a matter of fact, no one wins all the time. Winning is the easy part, losing is really tough. But, you learn more from one loss than you do from a million wins. You learn a lot about sportsmanship.”

Amy Van Dyken, US Olympian  

The New York State Public High School Athletic Association recognizes and appreciates that the influence and responsibility of the school administration with regard to good sportsmanship extends to all levels of competition and all students. However, it must also be seen that the Association has been vested with the responsibility to ensure that all contests under its jurisdiction are conducted satisfactorily. This standard applies to all regular-season and post-schedule play.

  • Any member of a squad ruled out of a contest for unsportsmanlike conduct or for a flagrant foul shall not participate in that sport in the next previously scheduled contest with a member school or in the New York State Public High School Athletic Association tournament play. Disqualification from one season carries over to the next season of participation.

  • Any member of the squad who strikes, shoves, kicks, or makes other physical contact with the intent to do so to an official shall be expelled from the game immediately and banned from further participation in all sports for one year from the date of the offense.
    Note: Member of the squad includes coach, player, manager, score keepers, timers, statisticians.

Many groups and individuals share the responsibility for teaching good sportsmanship. Sportsmanship is a result of the philosophy and policy of the Board of Education, the regulations and procedures established by the administration, the directions and programs set by the athletic director, the expectations and teachings of the coach, the modeling and behavior of the athletes, the spirit created by the cheerleaders and the reactions of the spectators. All of the people involved must continuously keep the development of sportsmanship in the forefront as a primary purpose for interscholastic athletic programs in an educational institution.

Visiting team members, students and adult spectators are guests to be accorded all the courtesy and consideration that a friendly well-mannered and well-intentioned host would normally give. The visitors, in turn, are to act as invited guests, using the home school’s facilities with care and respecting the rules and customs of the home school.

Officials are the proper authorities to make decisions regarding rules and their interpretation; these decisions should be accepted. Spectators, coaches and student/athletes must recognize that their conduct plays an important role in establishing the reputation of their school and that their positive actions can relate directly to the success of their teams. Remember that an athletic contest is only a game.

Students learn immeasurable unique lessons through interscholastic sports participation. Educators universally agree, of all the goals established as outcomes for secondary students involved in school sports, sportsmanship is primary. Students, parents, coaches and spectators who learn to value and practice sportsmanlike behavior are developing the characteristics of good citizenship. Honesty, generosity, self-discipline, concern for others, ethical behavior and a commitment to fair play are all demonstrated in sportsmanship.

The Student-Athlete: A student-athlete is second only to the coach in accountability for sportsmanship. Because players are admired and respected, they exert a great deal of influence on the actions and behavior of the spectators.

Student-Athlete Responsibilities:

  • Treat opponents with respect as guests and fellow human beings

  • Respect the judgment of officials and interpretation of the rules never argue or make gestures indicating a dislike for a decision

  • Accept both victory and defeat with pride and composure – never be boastful or bitter. Exercise self-control at all times

  • Congratulate opponents in a sincere manner following either victory or defeat

  • Cooperate with coach and fellow players in trying to promote sportsmanship

  • Accept the responsibility & privilege of representing the school & community

  • The Spectator: Schools have a tremendous challenge to instill pride in sportsmanlike behavior among spectators. The greatest peril to interscholastic athletics is the overzealous fan.
    Spectators will be put on notice that school officials will not tolerate improper behavior from any fans; students, recent graduates, parents or residents from the community. Spectators are encouraged to help promote good sportsmanship.

Spectator Responsibilities:

  • Learn the rules of the game so that you may understand and appreciate why certain situations take place

  • Remember that you are at a high school or middle school contest to support and yell for your team and to enjoy the skill and competition; not to intimidate or ridicule the other team, or its fans.

  • Respect the school property and authority of school officials

  • Do not heckle, jeer or distract members of the opposing team

  • Do not applaud errors by opponents or penalties inflicted upon them

  • Avoid profane language, disrespectful gestures or obnoxious behavior

  • Censure fellow spectators whose behavior is unbecoming

  • Respect the judgment and strategy of the coach –

  • Show respect for an injured player when he/she is removed from a contest

Information obtained from: http://www.section1athletics.org/