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The Sportsmanship Code

Jun 03, 2013

Pro sports are pretty intense and that's why there are so many rules, referees and sports talk about how to play fair. However, there is something beyond the rules called the sportsmanship code and it's something every pro player learns from when they were kids. The sportsmanship code varies from sport to sport so let's take a look at what it is and why it's important.

The sportsmanship code is a bunch of simple unwritten rules that the players usually follow without the enforcement of a referee. Here are a couple of reasons why there is a sportsmanship code:

  • Respect
  • The referees can't see everything bad that happens
  • So nobody gets hurt
  • Superstition and Karma
  • Players don't enjoy winning if something unfair happens
  • So no one is humiliated
  • Revenge for injustice (foul play that goes undetected)

Unpadded Protection

Rugby RespectRugby RespectCourtesy of www.generalssports.com

Rugby is one of the best sports to demonstrate the sportsmanship code. These players wear no equipment, no matter how they hit and tackle each other, there are many injuries. However, there is a code between the players to make sure nobody tries to injure each other. It's interesting that there are more injuries in sports that have equipment!

Fist Fight Fellowship

Some sportsmanship codes vary from sport to sport. What might seem like something fair in one sport, might be completely the opposite in another sport. Most hockey players have fist fights during a hockey game with absolutely no anger. However, players in sports like football and basketball always take fist fights personal. It's just that in hockey, there is a sportsmanship code that fist fights are a part of the general strategy of the game of hockey.

Football Blowouts

Sometimes in sports, a powerful team might start blowing away the other team. It's very common for the power team to let up and stop scoring so many points to avoid humiliating the other team. However, in football the teams find it disrespectful to stop trying and the power teams continue to score as many points as possible.

Soccer Sweetness

Everytime someone gets hurt in a soccer game, the team with possession of the ball will always kick the ball out of play so the ref can call a timeout and allow medical staff to attend the injury. When play resumes again, the team will kick the ball back to the team who kicked the ball out of play... even though technically they could keep the ball and try to score.

Dirty Diving

No Diving DealNo Diving DealCourtesy of NHL

A long time ago when the sportsmanship code was more powerful than it is today, there used to be a no-diving code. Back when pro sports was played for no money, few refs and no instant-replay, the players were very respectful to play fair. It was considered dishonorable to win a game by cheating so no one cheated. Now that players are getting paid so much money to win, some players master the art of diving to gain the advantage over the other team. It started with soccer players, but now you'll see it in basketball and hockey.

Baseball Brawls

Hit By Pitch IntentionallyHit By Pitch IntentionallyCourtesy of MLB

Baseball has quite sportsmanship code that reverses the rules of safety and actually makes the game more dangerous. It's common in baseball that a pitcher will intentionally hit a batter on the other team. This opens the door for the other pitcher to retaliate by hitting any player on the offending pitcher's team. It usually escalades into a bench-clearing brawl.

Have Your Say...

What do you think is a good sportsmanship code? Let us know in the comments below!



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Sports In The Forums

Lolly20 posted in Xtreme Sports:
of coarse girls can be stronger than boys but some are not :wave
reply 1 day
How the game works: you roast the favorite american football player of the person above you  EXAMPLE: Mathew Stafford LIONS QB USER BELOW: hes the worst qb in nfl did you know that? Ok first person to reply roasts my player:  Favorite NFL Player: Antonio Brown #84 Pittsburgh Steelers
reply 3 days
Lolly20 posted in Cheerleading:
as long as they r happy i think it is fine :)
reply 5 days
A recent comment on a video gave me this idea , of writing about this whole scenario  the comment was something like this Messi + Ronaldo = Zlatan It was something that made me happy , cuz i'm a Zlatan fan myself , but keeping that aside I'll be honest in stating the reasons due to which Zlatan is considered better among fans  1st - Tired of Messi vs Ronaldo ; For those of you tired of the endless Messi vs Ronaldo debate Zlatan is the middle way , when Zlatan was asked for a word to describe Messi and Ronaldo  he said for Messi - Fantastic , for Ronaldo - Good ( he'd definitely prefer messi since he was in barca , so definitely against Real Madrid , but i'll skip that ) , but when asked about one word for Zlatan - "WOW!" that was his answer 2nd - If you believe in extraordinary and Jaw-dropping stuff; If we talk about Messi and Ronaldo we'll think constant goal scorers and team players and who deliver something great evry time the team needs it , but Zlatan he may also score regularly not as frequent as Messi or Ronaldo , but every time he scores it's another jaw dropping goal , whether that 32 yard bicycle kick vs England or extraordinary volleys Zlatan is Zlatan 3rd Zlatan does things nobody does; You won't see Ronaldo having fun with reporters or Messi bad mouthing his manager even when he is wrong , Zlatan doesn't cares,  like who can forget the epic reply to Arsene Wenger on asking Zlatan to play a trial game , -" ZLATAN doesn't do Auditions" If some of you guys don't agree with me no problem , everybody has their own opinion , and if you don't agree with me cuz you don't know about any of those Zlatan goals or interviews , then you should definitely search the internet for - Extraordinary Zlatan  ZLATAN may had not won the -ballon d'or , but has won large no of trophies and league titles  search for zlatan ibrahimovic - titles and trophies for that
reply 8 days
Well for me, I think totally! Inside that is. When a guy says girls can't play sports I think THEY can't be cheerleaders. But if a guy says girls CAN play sports, yep, they could be cheerleaders
reply 12 days