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Sportsmanship

  • Date Submitted: 06/11/2011 06:38 AM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 64.7 
  • Words: 1105
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If you're into sports, you've seen it happen. You've probably even experienced it: Football players shaking hands after four quarters of knocking each other around. Tennis players leaping over the net to shake hands with their opponents after a hard-fought match. Soccer players exchanging jerseys after an intense 90 minutes. Even boxers touching gloves at the beginning of each round, then hugging each other after beating each other into a pulp for 12 rounds.

It seems like competitors in every event, from spelling bees to hockey, behave this way. What's going on?

It's all part of sportsmanship, a great tradition in sports and competition that means playing clean and handling both victory and defeat with grace, style, and dignity.

What Is Sportsmanship?
Sportsmanship is defined as:

playing fair
following the rules of the game
respecting the judgment of referees and officials
treating opponents with respect
Some people define good sportsmanship as the "golden rule" of sports — in other words, treating the people you play with and against as you'd like to be treated yourself. You demonstrate good sportsmanship when you show respect for yourself, your teammates, and your opponents, for the coaches on both sides, and for the referees, judges, and other officials.

But sportsmanship isn't just reserved for the people on the field. Cheerleaders, fans, and parents also need to be aware of how they behave during competition. Sportsmanship is a style and an attitude, and it can have a positive influence on everyone around you.

Win or Lose, Sportsmanship Helps You Get Through
In the last few years, taunting, trash-talking, gloating, and cheap shots have become all too common in sports. You've probably seen athletes who take their own successes too seriously, too. They celebrate a goal with a prolonged victory dance or constantly brag about their abilities. This is the exact opposite of what sportsmanship is all about. This kind of behavior might make you...

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