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Sportsmanship is an aspiration or ethos that a
sport Sport pertains to any form of Competition, competitive physical activity or game that aims to use, maintain or improve physical ability and Skill, skills while providing enjoyment to participants and, in some cases, entertainment to spectato ...

sport
, or activity will be enjoyed for its own sake. This is with proper consideration for
fairness Fairness or being fair can refer to: * Justice * The character in the award-nominated musical comedy ''A Theory of Justice: The Musical!, A Theory of Justice: The Musical.'' * Equity (law), a legal principle allowing for the use of discretion a ...
,
ethics Ethics or moral philosophy is a branch of philosophy Philosophy (from , ) is the study of general and fundamental questions, such as those about Metaphysics, existence, reason, Epistemology, knowledge, Ethics, values, Philosophy of mind, ...

ethics
,
respect Respect, also called esteem, is a positive feeling or action shown towards someone or something considered important or held in high esteem or regard. It conveys a sense of admiration for good or valuable qualities. It is also the process of ho ...

respect
, and a sense of
fellow A fellow is a broad concept whose exact meaning depends on context. In learned Learning is the process of acquiring new understanding, knowledge, behaviors, skills, value (personal and cultural), values, attitudes, and preferences. The abil ...
ship with one's competitors. A "sore loser" refers to one who does not take defeat well, whereas a "good sport" means being a "good winner" as well as being a "good loser" (someone who shows courtesy towards another in a sports game).


Analysis

Sportsmanship can be conceptualized as an enduring and relatively stable characteristic or disposition such that individuals differ in the way they are generally expected to behave in sports situations. Sportsmanship mainly refers to virtues such as fairness, self-control, courage, and persistence,Shields & Bredemeier, 1995. and has been associated with interpersonal concepts of treating others and being treated fairly, maintaining self-control if dealing with others, and respect for both authority and opponents. Sportsmanship is also looked at as being the way one reacts to a sport/game/player. The four elements of sportsmanship are often shown being good form, the will to win, equity and fairness. All four elements are critical and a balance must be found among all four for true sportsmanship to be illustrated. These elements may also cause conflict, as a person may desire to win more than play in equity and fairness and thus resulting in a clash within the aspects of sportsmanship. This will cause problems as the person believes they are being a good sportsman, but they are defeating the purpose of this idea as they are ignoring two key components of being sportsmanlike. When athletes become too self-centred, the idea of sportsmanship is dismissed. Today's sporting culture, in particular the base of elite sport, places great importance on the idea of competition and winning and thus sportsmanship takes a back seat as a result. In most, if not all sports, sportsmen at the elite level make the standards on sportsmanship and no matter whether they like it or not, they are seen as leaders and role models in society. Since every sport is rule driven, the most common offence of bad sportsmanship is the act of cheating or breaking the rules to gain an unfair advantage; this is called
unsportsmanlike conduct Unsportsmanlike conduct (also called unsporting behaviour or ungentlemanly conduct or bad sportsmanship or poor sportsmanship or anti fair-play) is a foul or offense in many sport Sport pertains to any form of Competition, competitive physic ...
. A competitor who exhibits poor sportsmanship after losing a game or contest is often called a "sore loser", while a competitor who exhibits poor sportsmanship after winning is typically called a "bad winner". Sore loser behavior includes blaming others for the loss, not accepting responsibility for personal actions that contributed to the defeat, reacting to the loss in an immature or improper fashion,
making excuses In psychology Psychology is the science of mind and behavior. Psychology includes the study of consciousness, conscious and Unconscious mind, unconscious phenomena, as well as feeling and thought. It is an academic discipline of immense scop ...
for the defeat, and citing unfavorable conditions or other petty issues as reasons for the defeat. A bad winner acts in a shallow fashion after his or her victory, such as by gloating about his or her win, rubbing the win in the face(s) of the opponent(s), and lowering the opponent(s)'s
self-esteem Self-esteem is an individual's subjective evaluation of their own worth. Self-esteem encompasses beliefs about oneself (for example, "I am unloved", "I am worthy") as well as emotional states, such as triumph, despair, pride, and shame. Smith an ...
by constantly reminding the opponent(s) of "poor" performance in comparison (even if the opponent(s) competed well). Not showing respect to the other team is considered to being a bad sportsman and could lead to demoralising effects; as Leslie Howe describes: "If a pitcher in baseball decides to pitch not to his maximum ability suggest that the batter is not at an adequate level, could lead to the batter to have low self-confidence or worth." There are six different categories relating to sportsmanship: the elements of sports, the elements of sportsmanship, clarifications, conflicts, balance and irreducibility. All six of these characterize a person with good sportsmanship. Even though there is some affinity between some of the categories, they are distinct elements. "In essence, play has for its directed and immediate end joy, pleasure, and delights and which is dominated by a spirit of moderation and generosity. Athletics, on the other hand, is essentially a competitive activity, which has for its end victory in the contest and which is characterized of dedication, sacrifice and intensity." (Feelezz, 1896, pp. 3) Hence, the virtues of a player are radically different from the virtues of an athlete. (Feelezz, 1896, pp. 3). When talking about misunderstanding sportsmanship, Rudd and Stoll (2013) provide an example from 1995, a U.S. high school athletic league banned the post-game handshake that was a part of sports such as football and basketball. The handshaking was banned because of fights that were ensuing after the handshake.(pp. 41) Most players are influenced by the leaders around them such as coaches and older players, ''if there are coaches and administrators who don't understand sportsmanship, then what about the players?''


Examples

There are various ways that sportsmanship is practiced in different sports. Being a good sport often includes treating others as you would also like to be treated, cheer for good plays (even if it is made by the opposition), accept responsibility for your mistakes, and keep your perspective. An example of treating others how you would like to be treated would include being respectful and polite to other team members and the opposition because in return you would also like to be treated the same way. Cheer for good plays could include if in netball a player of the opposition made a good lead for the ball, which then resulted in a goal, everyone would either clap or make a supportive comment to acknowledge that what the player did was very well done. To accept responsibility for your mistakes will entail not placing the blame on other people. Some popular examples of good sportsmanship include shaking hands, help an opponent who may have fallen over, encourage everyone, cheer, clap or hi-five, and be respectful to everyone including teammates, the opposition, parents and officials. Most importantly it is often encouraged and said regarding sportsmanship that "It's not whether you win or lose, it's how you play the game." Sportsmanship can be manifested in different ways depending on the game itself or the culture of the group. For example, in the sport of
cricket Cricket is a Bat-and-ball games, bat-and-ball game played between two teams of eleven players each on a cricket field, field at the centre of which is a cricket pitch, pitch with a wicket at each end, each comprising two Bail (cricket), bai ...

cricket
, a player will sometimes acknowledge that he is
out Out may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Films *Out (1957 film), ''Out'' (1957 film), a documentary short about the Hungarian Revolution of 1956 *Out (1982 film), ''Out'' (1982 film), an American film directed by Eli Hollander *Out (200 ...
by
walking Walking (also known as ambulation) is one of the main gait Gait is the pattern of Motion (physics), movement of the limb (anatomy), limbs of animals, including Gait (human), humans, during Animal locomotion, locomotion over a solid substrate. M ...
off the field, even though the umpires (game officials) had thought that he was not out. In another example, a tennis player who sees a ball go in but is called out by the linesperson could concede the point or suggest the opponent make a
challenge Challenge may refer to: * Voter challenging or caging, a method of challenging the registration status of voters * Euphemism for disability A disability is a societal imposition on people who have impairments, making it more difficult for ...
, as was the case with professional tennis player
Jack Sock Jack Sock (born September 24, 1992) is an American professional tennis Tennis is a racket sport that can be played individually against a single opponent (Types of tennis match#Singles, singles) or between two teams of two players each (Typ ...
on at least two separate occasions.


Contributing factors

Sportsmanship can be affected by a few contributing factors such as the players' values and attitudes towards the sport and also the professional role models that are shown to the public. Role models in sport are expected to act in a moral and respectful way. When elite sporting role models do not encourage sportsmanship this can also encourage people in society to act in similar ways to the athletes that they look up to and idolize. For example, if an individual looked up to an athlete who was drinking excessively, they may see this as acceptable behavior. The direct correlation between sportsmanship and leadership is also considered to be another contributing factor. Having a positive environment in your sporting team will therefore create good sportsmanship from the individuals. Having a positive leadership by the captains, coaches and supporters would then encourage a positive sporting environment.


See also

* Lady Byng Memorial, trophy given by the
National Hockey League The National Hockey League (NHL; french: Ligue nationale de hockey—LNH) is a professional ice hockey sports league, league in North America comprising 32 teams—25 in the United States and 7 in Canada. It is considered to be the premier pr ...
to the player who shows the best sportsmanship *
Pierre de Coubertin medal Pierre is a masculine given name. It is a French form of the name Peter. Pierre originally meant "rock" or "stone" in French (derived from the Greek word "petra" meaning "stone, rock", via Latin "petra"). Persons with the given name * Pierre A ...

Pierre de Coubertin medal
, a special medal handed out during the
modern Olympic Games The modern Olympic Games or Olympics (french: Jeux olympiques) are leading international sporting events featuring summer and winter sports competitions in which thousands of athletes from around the world participate in a multi-sport event, ...
for extraordinary acts of sportsmanship in keeping with the ideals of the Games. *
Unsportsmanlike conduct Unsportsmanlike conduct (also called unsporting behaviour or ungentlemanly conduct or bad sportsmanship or poor sportsmanship or anti fair-play) is a foul or offense in many sport Sport pertains to any form of Competition, competitive physic ...
*
Gamesmanship Gamesmanship is the use of dubious (although not technically illegal) methods to win or gain a serious advantage in a game or sport. It has been described as "Pushing the rules to the limit without getting caught, using whatever dubious methods poss ...
*
Ultimate (sport) Ultimate, originally known as ultimate Frisbee, is a non-contact team game played by players with a flying disc, flung by a human. Ultimate was developed in 1968 by a group of students at Columbia High School in Maplewood, New Jersey. Although ...
*
Football War The Football War ( es, La guerra del fútbol; colloquial Colloquialism or colloquial language is the style (sociolinguistics), linguistic style used for casual communication. It is the most common functional style of speech, the idiom normal ...
* Fair Play Award (disambiguation) * Fair Play Trophy (disambiguation)


References


External links

*AL Notebook
"Torre: Rodriguez Was Wrong to Distract Fielder"
''The Washington Post'', June 2, 2007, Page E06. {{Authority control Sports culture Etiquette by situation Interpersonal relationships Cultural conventions Psychological attitude de:Fairness