In a recent high school basketball game in Texas, the fans of the home team stood up and turned their backs to the court at the students of the opposing team were introduced. The photo was posted to Facebook and shared by the local TV station, garnering hundreds of comments and shares. The TV station even interviewed parents from both sides to get their take, asking: “Rivalry joke or bad sportsmanship?” Would you be surprised to learn that parents and students alike weren’t sure if this was bad sportsmanship?
While some might think that the practice of good sportsmanship is limited to the athletes and coaches on the field, the fact is that fans play a critical role in sportsmanship. And the fact is: turning your back on an opponent, whether on the field or in the stands, is bad sportsmanship.
This month, we turn to the experts at Positive Coaching Alliance to help us put together a Sportsmanship From The Stands Checklist – the things parents, grandparents, classmates, siblings, and all our fans in the stands – can do before the game, during the game, and after the game.
Sportsmanship from the stands starts well before the game even begins, and goes beyond the game itself.