Code Of Conduct

Integrity, fairness, and respect are lifetime values taught through athletics. They are also the principles of good sportsmanship.  With them, the spirit of competition thrives, fueled by honest rivalry, courteous relations, and graceful acceptance of the results.  The following is a guideline for Sportsmanship as outlined by the Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association (PIAA).

  1. Gain an understanding and appreciation for the rules of the contest.
    The necessity to be well informed is essential. Know the rules. If you are uninformed, refrain from expressing opinions on officials, coaches, or administrative decisions. The spirit of good sportsmanship depends on conformance to a rule’s intent as well as to the letter of a given rule.
  2. Exercise representative behavior at all times.
    A prerequisite to good sportsmanship requires one to understand his/her own prejudices that may become a factor in his/her behavior. The true value of interscholastic competition relies upon everyone exhibiting behavior that is representative of a sound value base. A proper perspective must be maintained if the educational values are to be realized. Your behavior influences others whether you are aware of it or not.
  3. Recognize and appreciate skilled performances regardless of affiliation.
    Applause for an opponent’s good performance displays generosity and is a courtesy that should be regularly practiced. This not only represents good sportsmanship but also reflects a true awareness of the Contest by recognizing and acknowledging quality.
  4. Exhibit respect for contest officials.
    The officials of any Contest are impartial arbitrators who are trained and who perform to the best of their ability. Mistakes by all those involved in the Contest are a part of the Contest. We should not rationalize our own poor or unsuccessful performance or behavior by placing responsibility on a Contest official. The rule of good sportsmanship is to accept and abide by the decision made. This value is critical for students to learn for later application in life.
  5. Display openly a respect for the opponent at all times.
    Opponents are guests and should be treated cordially, provided with the best accommodations, and accorded tolerance at all times. Be a positive representative for your school, Team, or family. This fundamental is the Golden Rule in action.
  6. Display pride in your actions at every opportunity.
    Never allow your ego to interfere with good judgment and your responsibility as a school representative. Regardless of whether you are an adult, student, athlete, coach, or official, this value is paramount since it suggests that you care about yourself and how others perceive you.

Guidelines For Behavior

For the Coach
  • Exemplify the highest moral character, behavior, and leadership; adhering to strong ethical and integrity standards.  Practicing good sportsmanship is practicing good citizenship!
  • Respect the integrity and personality of the individual athlete.
  • Abide by and teach the rules of the Contest in letter and in spirit.
  • Set a good example for players and spectators to follow: please refrain from arguments in front of players and spectators; no gestures which indicate Contest officials or opposing coaches do not know what they are doing or talking about; no throwing of any object in disgust. Shake hands with Contest officials and opposing coaches before and after the Contest in full view of the public.
  • Respect the integrity and judgment of Contest officials. The officials are doing their best to help promote athletics and the student/athlete. Treating them with respect, even if you disagree with their judgment, will only make a positive impression of you and your Team in the eyes of all people at the event.
  • Display modesty in victory and graciousness in defeat in public and in meeting/talking with the media.
  • Please confine your remarks to Contest statistics and to the performance of your Team.
  • Instruct participants and spectators in proper sportsmanship responsibilities and demand that they make sportsmanship the No. 1 priority.
  • Develop a program that rewards participants and spectators for displaying proper sportsmanship and enforces penalties on those who do not abide by sportsmanship standards.
  • Be no party to the use of profanity or obscene language, or improper actions. Do not permit student-athletes to use profanity during practice sessions.
For the Student-Athlete
  • Accept and understand the seriousness of responsibility, and the privilege of representing your school and your community.
  • Live up to the standards of sportsmanship established by the school administration and the coaching staff.
  • Learn the rules of the Contest thoroughly and discuss them with parents, fans, fellow students, and elementary students. This will assist both them and you in the achievement of a better understanding and appreciation of the sport.
  • Respect your coach’s game and practice decisions.
  • Treat opponents the way you would like to be treated, as a guest or friend. Who better than yourselves can understand all the hard work and team effort that is required of your sport!
  • Wish opponents good luck before the Contest and congratulate them in a sincere manner that you would like to be greeted following either victory or defeat.
  • Respect the integrity and judgment of Contest officials. The officials are doing their best to help promote you and your sport. Treating them with respect, even if you disagree with their judgment, will only make a positive impression of you and your Team in the eyes of the officials and all people at the event.
For the Cheerleader
  • Understand the seriousness and responsibility of your role, and the privilege of representing your school and your community.
  • Learn the rules of the Contest thoroughly and discuss them with parents, fans, fellow students, and elementary students. This will assist both them and you in the achievement of a better understanding and appreciation of the sport.
  • Treat opposing cheerleaders the way you would like to be treated, as a guest or friend. Who better than you can understand all the hard work, training, and team effort that goes into a cheering squad?
  • Wish opposing cheerleaders good luck before the Contest and congratulate them in a sincere manner following either victory or defeat.
  • Establish standards of desirable behavior for the squad and attempt, in a cheerful manner, to transfer that to your spectators.
  • Select positive cheers that praise your Team without antagonizing the opponents.
  • Encourage a positive crowd alternative when booing or an inappropriate chant begins by starting a popular cheer.
  • Use discretion in selecting the times to cheer. Give the opposing school the same amount of time your squad would want in performing cheers, and treat opposing players like you would treat your own Team.
  • Give encouragement to injured players and recognition to outstanding performances for both Teams.
  • Respect the integrity and judgment of Contest officials. Treating them with respect, even if you disagree with their judgment, will only make a positive impression of your Team and your community in the eyes of the officials and all people at the event.
For other Support Groups (band, Crazies, Athletic Association, etc.)
  • Establish themselves as leaders in their conduct before, during and after Contests. Always provide positive support for your Team, rather than intimidating or ridiculing the other Team.
  • Assist cheerleaders with cheers, chants, etc., and be a working part of pep assemblies, with preparation, organization, and involvement.
  • Treat opposing players, coaches, spectators, and support groups with respect and enthusiasm.
  • Conduct themselves in an exemplary manner. Remember, you represent your school both home and away.
  • Respect the integrity and judgment of Contest officials. Treating them with respect, even if you disagree with their judgment, will only make a positive impression of your group, your Team, and your community, in the eyes of all people at the event.
  • Be an exemplary role model by positively supporting Teams in every manner possible, including content of cheers and signs.
For Spectators
  • Remember that you are at a Contest to support and cheer for your Team and to enjoy the skill and competition; not to intimidate or ridicule the other Team and its fans.
  • Remember that interscholastic athletics are a learning experience for students and that mistakes are sometimes made. Praise student-athletes in their attempt to improve themselves as students, as athletes, and as people as you would praise a student working in the classroom.
  • A ticket is a privilege to observe the Contest, not a license to verbally assault others and be generally obnoxious.
  • Learn the rules of the Contest so that you may understand and appreciate why certain situations take place.
  • Show respect for the opposing players, coaches, spectators, and support groups. Treat them as you would treat a guest in your own home.
  • Respect the integrity and judgment of Contest officials. Understand that they are doing their best to help promote the student-athlete, and admire their willingness to participate in full view of the public.
  • Recognize and show appreciation for an outstanding play by either Team.
  • Refrain from the use of any controlled substances (alcohol, drugs, tobacco, etc.) before, and during Contests, and afterwards on or near the site of the Contest (i.e. tailgating).
  • Use only those cheers that support and uplift the Teams involved.
  • Recognize and compliment school and athletic administrators for their efforts in emphasizing the educational benefits of interscholastic athletics and the role of good sportsmanship to that end.
  • Be a positive role model through your own actions and by censuring those around you whose behavior is unbecoming.
For School Administrators
  • Develop a program for teaching and promoting the ideals and fundamentals of good sportsmanship within the school, the conference/league, and PIAA.
  • Provide appropriate supervisory personnel for each Contest.
  • Support participants, coaches, and fans whose Team displays good sportsmanship.
  • Recognize exemplary behavior and actively discourage undesirable conduct by participants, coaches, and fans.
  • Attend Contests whenever possible and function as a role model – show good sportsmanship. This includes communicating with spectators during a Contest as to what is acceptable and unacceptable behavior.
Acceptable Behavior
  • Applause during introduction of players, coaches, and Contest officials.
  • Accept all decisions of Contest officials.
  • Cheerleaders lead fans in cheers in a positive manner.
  • Handshakes between participants and coaches at end of Contest, regardless of outcome.
  • Treat competition as a Contest, not a war.
  • Coaches/players search out opposing participants to recognize them for outstanding performance or coaching.
  • Applause at the end of a Contest for performances by all participants.
  • Everyone showing concern for an injured player, regardless of Team.
  • Encouraging surrounding people to display only sportsmanlike conduct.
Unacceptable Behavior
  • Disrespectful or derogatory cheers, chants, songs, or gestures.
  • Criticizing Contest officials in any way.
  • Cheers that antagonize an opponent.
  • Refusing to shake hands or give recognition of good performances.
  • Blaming a loss on Contest officials, coaches, or participants.
  • Laughing or name-calling to distract an opponent.
  • Use of profanity or displays of anger.
  • Doing own cheers instead of following the lead of cheerleaders.
  • Wearing extreme of unusual clothing or excessive body paint that detracts from the Contest.

www.piaa.org

Sportsmanship Pays Off

Athletic scholarships are given to YAIAA student-athletes based on the sportsmanship displayed by teams, coaches, and fans.  Click here for complete details.