• Sportsmanship

    From the Virginia High School League Handbook:


    The Spectator Should:

    (1) Realize that he/she represents the school just as definitely as does the member of a team and, therefore, has an obligation to be a true sportsman, encouraging through this behavior the practice of good sportsmanship by others.

    (2) Recognize that good sportsmanship is more important than victory by approving and applauding good team play, individual skill and outstanding examples of sportsmanship and fair play exhibited by either team.

    (3) Recognize that since the primary purpose of interscholastic athletics is to promote the physical, mental, moral, social and emotional well-being of the players through the medium of contests, victory or defeat is in reality of secondary importance.

    (4) Treat visiting teams and officials as guests, extending to them every courtesy.

    (5) Be modest in victory and gracious in defeat.

    (6) Respect the judgment and integrity of officials, realizing that their decisions are based upon game conditions as they observe them.


    The Athlete Should:

    (1) Be courteous to visiting teams and officials.

    (2) Play hard and to the limit of his/her ability, regardless of discouragement. The true athlete does not give up nor does he/she quarrel, cheat, bet or grandstand.

    (3) Retain his/her composure at all times and never leave the bench or enter the playing field/court to engage in a fight.

    (4) Be modest when successful and be gracious in defeat. A true sportsman does not offer excuses for failures.

    (5) Maintain a high degree of physical fitness by observing team and training rules conscientiously.

    (6) Demonstrate loyalty to the school by maintaining a satisfactory scholastic standing and by participating in or supporting other school activities.

    (7) Play for the love of the game.

    (8) Understand and observe the rules of the game and the standards of eligibility.

    (9) Set a high standard of personal cleanliness.

    (10) Respect the integrity and judgment of officials and accept their decisions without questions.

    (11) Respect the facilities of host schools and the trust entailed in being a guest.


    The Coach Should:

    (1) Exemplify behavior that is representative of the educational staff of the school and a credit to the teaching profession.

    (2) Demonstrate high ideals, good habits and desirable attitudes in personal behavior and demand the same standards of the players.

    (3) Emphasize to his/her players and bench personnel the importance of proper sideline behavior and the necessity of restraining from entering the playing field/court to engage in a fight.

    (4) Recognize that the purpose of competition is to promote the physical, mental, social and emotional well-being of the individual players and that the most important values of competition are derived from playing the game fairly.

    (5) Be a modest winner and a gracious loser.

    (6) Maintain self-control at all times, accepting adverse decisions without public display of emotion or of dissatisfaction with the officials.

    (7) Cooperate with the school principal in the planning, scheduling and conduct of sports activities.

    (8) Employ accepted educational methods in coaching; giving all players an opportunity to use and develop initiative, leadership and judgment.

    (9) Pay close attention to the physical condition and well-being of players, refusing to jeopardize the health of an individual for the sake of improving his team’s chances to win.

    (10) Teach athletes that it is better to lose fairly than win unfairly.

    (11) Discourage gambling, profanity, abusive language and similar violations of the true sportsman’s code.

    (12) Refuse to disparage an opponent, an official or others associated with sports activities and discourage gossip and questionable rumors concerning them.

    (13) Properly supervise student athletes under his/her immediate care and specifically observe a coach’s responsibilities in conjunction with district and state contests.