History: At the time of the first sporting events, during the Olympics of ancient Greece, athletes were expected to demonstrate their sportsmanship, among other things, by honorably recognizing the superiority of an opponent in defeat. Later, in the Middle Ages knights' tournaments were governed by a code based on the loyalty and honesty of the participants. Closer to home, in the last century, England favored a sporting practice based on gentlemanhood and fair play, that is, respect for written and unwritten rules. The Frenchman, Pierre De Coubertin, father of the modern Olympic Games, was keen to associate honor, loyalty, respect for others and himself with the Olympism. A series of attitudes usually associated with sportsmanship.

Sportsmanship is a difficult concept to grasp. We recognize certain dimensions: loyalty, honesty, acceptance of rules, respect for others and of oneself, equal opportunities ... All elements associated with the idea of sportsmanship.

Sportsmanship manifests itself in:

  1. Concern for the rules;
  2. Respect for the official and acceptance of decisions;
  3. Respect for the adversary;
  4. Concern for fairness;
  5. The maintenance of our dignity.

Educators, parents, coaches, athletes, in fact all participants are encouraged to demonstrate good sportsmanship by putting into practice the ten articles of the Charter of Fair Play. Everyone must do their part to promote a more human and more formative sporting practice.

  1. Showing sportsmanship is first and foremost strictly observing all regulations; it's never to try to commit a fault deliberately.
  2. Showing sportsmanship means respecting the official. The presence of officials or referees is essential to the holding of most competition. The official has a difficult role to play. He deserves the respect of all.
  3. Showing sportsmanship is to accept all the decisions of the referee without ever questioning his integrity.
  4. To show sportsmanship is to recognize with dignity the superiority of the adversary in defeat.
  5. Showing sportsmanship is to accept victory with modesty and without ridiculing your opponent.
  6. To show good sportsmanship is to recognize the good moves and the good performances of the opponent.
  7. Showing sportsmanship is to try to compete with an opponent in fairness. It is to rely on his talent and his abilities to try to obtain victory.
  8. To show sportsmanship is to refuse to win by illegal means and by cheating.
  9. Showing sportsmanship, for the official, is to know all the regulations and apply them impartially.
  10. Showing sportsmanship is to maintain dignity in all circumstances; it's to demonstrate that one has mastery of oneself. It is to refuse that physical or verbal violence take precedence over us.

Practicing Good Sportsmanship:

So what does it take to demonstrate good sportsmanship in real-life situations? Here are some examples of things you can do:

  • Learn as much as you can about your sport.
  • Play by its rules.
  • Show up for practice, work hard, and realize that on a team, everyone deserves a chance to play.
  • Talk politely and act courteously toward everyone before, during, and after games and events. That includes your teammates, your opponents, your coaches and their coaches and even spectators (who can sometimes be loud about their opinions).
  • Stay cool. Even if others are losing their tempers, it doesn't mean you have to.
  • Remind yourself that no matter how hard you've practiced and played, it is, after all, just a game.
  • Cheer your teammates on with positive statements and avoid trash-talking the other team.
  • Acknowledge and applaud good plays, even when someone on the other team makes them.
  • When officials make a call, accept it gracefully even if it goes against you. Remember that referees may not be right every time but they're people who are doing their best, just as you are.
  • Whether you win or lose, congratulate your opponents on a game well played.