"For when the One Great Scorer comes to mark against your name,
He writes not that you won or lost - but how you played the game." (Grantland Rice)

It seems in our sports today, the concept of good sportsmanship has been lost. While winning at all costs and poor sportsmanship may be condoned and even promoted in professional sports, this does not mean it is the proper way for athletes to behave. Whether we like it or not, sportsmanship in sports is a direct reflection of our own ethics in real life. Sportsmanship like ethics concerns both the character and the actions of an athlete. The image you project as an athlete is a product of your character. Good sportsmanship is not just what you do on the field, it is hopefully the way you conduct your life both on and off the field. In the same way, unsportsmanlike behavior on the field is probably an indication of your off the field conduct. Unsportsmanlike behavior -- acts that are unfair, dishonest, disrespectful or against the rules - are unsportsmanlike because they are unethical. If you are unethical in sports, can you be ethical in the other areas of your life - your business dealings, your treatment of others, your family?

We can sit back and blame television and pro sports for the decline in sportsmanship but we can also take the responsibility of bringing it back into at least the game of basketball. It is time for all of us involved with basketball to practice good sportsmanship. This is especially important if we are involved with children either as a parent or coach. This year the W.C.Y.A.A. will expect all participants to follow the basics of sportsmanship. Following are some general rules to be a good sport.



1. The "Golden Rule" -- Do unto others as you would have others do unto you.
    - show respect for them if you expect it yourself.

2. Have an understanding and an appreciation of the rules.
    - the spirit of good sportsmanship depends on conforming to the intent of the rule and not look for a loop hole. (Example - all players present must play so several weak players are asked to stay home for an important game)

3. Enjoy yourself and encourage enjoyment for others.
    - we play sports for recreation so let’s make it that.

4. Take responsibility for your actions.
    - don't blame others for your mistakes or find excuses for poor behavior.

5. Recognize and appreciate good performances, especially by the opponent.
    -Applause for an opponent's good play demonstrates generosity and courtesy. It shows a true awareness of the game and athletic ability.

6. Exhibit respect for the officials.
    - Umpires are impartial arbitrators who perform to the best of their ability to make sure the game is played fair and within the rules. Mistakes made by all those involved are part of the game and must be accepted.

7. Expect proper behavior from your teammates.
    - if you allow a teammate to cheat, to play dangerously, to argue and scream at officials, you are condoning that behavior.

Examples of Acceptable behavior

  • Shake hands with the opponent before and after the game, regardless of outcome.
  • Cheer in a positive manner.
  • Accept all decisions by officials without question.
  • Applaud good plays by both teammates and opponents.
  • Applaud at the end of the contest for the performance of all participants.
  • Encourage all surrounding people (fans included) to display on sportsmanlike behavior.
  • Show concern for an injured player, regardless of team.
  • Win with class - lose with dignity.

Examples of Unacceptable Behavior

  • Use disrespectful or derogatory comments, cheers or gestures.
  • Criticize officials in any way - displays of temper over an officials call.
  • Make displays of temper when you or a teammate are not successful.
  • Refuse to shake hands or recognize good play.
  • Laugh or name-call to distract an opponent.
  • Criticize other players or coaches for the loss of a game.
  • Use profanity or display anger.

Every time we go out and play, we are being watched. We may not realize it but someone, possibly a young impressionable person, is observing you and how you act. Your behavior may have a significant impact, positive or negative, on them. Maybe what they see on our W.C.Y.A.A. basketball courts will set a better example for them than what they see on TV. If we all perform to the best of our abilities within the concept of good sportsmanship, we should all have an enjoyable season and possibly, just possibly, our lives may just be a little richer.