The BVAL considers sportsmanship a top priority. It is the expectation that all coaches, players, officials and spectators respect the integrity and judgment of everyone involved in all contests, including opponents and game officials.

Players are expected to conduct themselves in a manner which shall bring credit to themselves, their school, communities, coaches and families. They shall refrain from any conduct which degrades, baits, intimidates or otherwise discredits their opponents or officials.

Coaches are expected to maintain decorum consistent with the educational values of interscholastic athletics by showing restraint and composure and to insist their players conduct themselves in a sportsmanlike manner.

P.A. Sportsmanship Statement
(to be read prior to all games)


Blossom Valley Athletic League Sportsmanship Policy

In accordance with its philosophy and goals, the promotion of sportsmanship is integral to the functioning of the Blossom Valley Athletic League. Sportsmanship is a concrete measure of the understanding of and commitment to fair play, ethical behavior, and integrity promoted by our league.


1. Everyone associated with an athletic event - coaches, athletes, officials, spirit leaders, parents, spectators and school administrators - plays an important role in seeing that standards of sportsmanship are upheld before, during, and after a contest is played.

2. Each person in attendance should strive to meet the ideals of sportsmanship:

A. Show respect for the opponent at all times. The opponent should be treated as a guest, greeted cordially on arriving, given the best possible accommodations and treated respectfully at all times.

B. Show respect for the official. The officials should be recognized as impartial arbitrators who are trained to do their job and who can be expected to do it to the best of their ability. Sportsmanship implies the willingness to accept and abide by the decisions of the officials.

C. Know, understand, and appreciate the rules of the contest. A familiarity with the current rules of the game and recognition of their necessity for a fair contest is essential. Good sportsmanship suggests the importance of conforming to the spirit as well as to the letter of the rules.

D. Maintain self-control at all times. Sportsmanship requires one to understand his/her own bias or prejudice and the ability to prevent the desire to win from overcoming rational behavior. A proper perspective must be maintained if the potential educational values of athletic competition are to be realized. Sportsmanship is concerned with the behavior of all involved in the game.

3. Within the framework of these basic fundamentals are the specific responsibilities which each individual must bear.

The Coach

The coach bears the greatest burden of responsibility for sportsmanship. The influence of the coach upon the attitudes and behavior of the players, the student body and the community is unequaled. In order for sportsmanship to become a reality, it is essential that the coach subscribe to the values of sportsmanship and teach its principles through words and action.

1. The coach should.....
A. Always set a good example for others to follow.
B. Teach the value of honest effort to conform to the spirit, as well as the letter, of the rules.
C. Instruct the players in their sportsmanship responsibilities.
D. Be an accommodating host to opponents; treat them as guests.
E. Respect the judgment of the officials and their interpretation of the rules. Public protest can only lead to similar behavior by the players and spectators.
F. Publicly shake hands with the officials and opposing coach before the contest. After the contest, congratulate opposing coach and team on a good effort.
G. Be sensitive to score and game conditions so as not to embarrass or belittle an opponent.

The Athletes

The responsibility of the athletes for sportsmanship is second in importance only to the coach. Because athletes are admired and respected, they exert a great deal of influence over the actions and behavior of the spectators.
The athletes should:
A. Accept seriously the responsibility and privilege of representing the school and community.
B. Treat opponents with the respect that is due them as guests and fellow competitors.
C. Shake hands with opponents and wish them good luck before the contest.
D. Offer assistance during a break in game action to an opponent who has fallen.
E. Exercise self-control at all times, accepting coaches’ and officials’ decisions and abiding by them.
F. Respect the judgment of the officials and their interpretations of the rules. Never argue or make gestures indicating dislike for a decision.
G. Allow the captain to be only team member to communicate with the officials regarding the clarification of a ruling.
H. Accept both victory and defeat with pride and compassion; never be boastful or bitter.
I. Congratulate the opponents in a sincere manner following either victory or defeat.
J. Cooperate with the coach and fellow athletes in trying to promote sportsmanship.
K. Welcome the opportunity to discuss the rules and strategies of the contest with parents and friends, so they can better understand and appreciate the finer points of the game.
L. Never taunt an opponent or celebrate an accomplishment in such a way as to ?show up? the opponent, demonstrate a lack of respect, or provoke another team or its spectators.

Spirit Leaders

By setting a good example, the spirit leaders can influence and help control the reactions of student spectators.
The Spirit Leaders should........
A. Work with moderators to design standards of desirable behavior for the leaders and cheering section.
B. Select positive cheers which praise their own team without antagonizing their opponents.
C. Make spirit signs that are positive in nature and do not refer to the opposing team.
D. Use discretion in selecting when to cheer. Give the opposing teams’ spirit leaders equal opportunity to execute their cheers.
E. Give encouragement to injured athletes and recognition to outstanding performances for either team.
G. Assist school officials at rallies or other gatherings in reminding students of the expectations of a good sportsmanship and that the reputation of the school depends largely upon the behavior of its students at athletic contests. It should be emphasized that no derogatory remarks or booing should be made at any time.
J. Always maintain enthusiasm and composure, especially in trying circumstances, remembering responsibilities for leadership.

The Students and Other Spectators

Spectators share a significant responsibility for sportsmanship. Their habits and reactions determine the quality of sportsmanship which reflects upon the reputation of the school they are supporting.

The students and other spectators should.........
A. Know and demonstrate the fundamentals of sportsmanship.
B. Respect, cooperate and respond enthusiastically to spirit leaders.
C. Censure fellow spectators who display negative behavior.
D. Respect the property of the school and the authority of school officials.
E. Show respect for an injured athlete when he/she is removed from the contest.
F. Never heckle or jeer members of the opposing team.
G. Never criticize the athletes or coaches for the loss of the contest.
H. Respect the judgment and strategy of the coach.
I. Never use profane language or obnoxious behavior which are contrary to sportsmanship.
J. Never participate in an unauthorized visit to another school or engage in any act of vandalism.
K. Remain in stands or spectators area; never enter athletic field or court.

The Band and Other Entertainers

A. The band directors should contact each other before the game in order to coordinate times for playing and any other necessary details.
B. Band members should be supervised by a staff member.
C. Bands should only play before a game, during time-outs, at half-time and the game.
Bands should not use instruments to distract opponents. Band directors should be sensitive to any school which may desire to sing their Alma Mater at the end of the game and provide opportunity for them to do so without interruption. Visiting schools should be allowed to sing their Alma Mater first.
D. Bands, dance troupe members, and other entertainers should not interfere with the officials, with practicing teams, or with the playing of the game.

The School Administrators, Athletic Directors, and Their Designees

1. The administrators and athletic directors must establish the importance of the fundamentals of sportsmanship in the minds of the entire school community and all those who associate with any of the activities of the school.

The quality of the sportsmanship displayed at athletic contests reflects the leadership provided by the administration.

2. The principal should.............
A. Maintain order and enforce sportsmanlike behavior.
B. Provide sufficient supervision for all football and basketball games as well as other athletic events which require special supervision.
C. Provide, when necessary, additional security such as police to assist in maintaining order and safety at athletic events. It is the responsibility of the home team to assess the nature and extent of security needs for an event. The designee will confer with the opposing principal prior to the start of the athletic event.
D. Pursue avenues for proactively promoting sportsmanship (e.g., pregame gatherings with opposing school’s faculty and coaches).
E. Be sure parents thoroughly understand what the school expects of its athletes and its spectators.
F. Take responsibility to inform parents, alumni, and other spectators of acceptable and unacceptable behaviors and to insure that all spectators abide by these expectations.
G. Take an active role in the development of athletic policies.
H. Be sure that all students have a definite understanding of the kinds of behavior expected of them.
I. Support and encourage school programs designed to enhance the understandings of sportsmanship.
J. Establish and enforce consequences for students and athletes who violate expectations of sportsmanship.
K. Insure the employment of coaches who are concerned primarily with educational objectives and the well-being of students.

The League Commissioner

The League Commissioner should........
A. Communicate to the officials associations the sportsmanship code and expectations of the league.
B. Foster good working relationships between schools so that schools can effectively resolve issues arising from athletic competition.
C. Foster league-wide education about sportsmanship.
D. Pursue avenues for pro-actively promoting positive sportsmanship throughout the league.
E. Regularly agendize sportsmanship concerns at league sports committee meetings and other league meetings.

Behavior Guidelines for Contests

1. Appropriate behavior, to include........
A. Applause during introduction of athletes, coaches and officials.
B. Shaking hands with opponent who fouls out while all fans recognize athlete’s performance with applause.
C. Accepting all decisions of officials.
D. Spirit leaders leading fans in positive manner.
E. Handshakes between participants and coaches at end of contest, regardless of outcome.
F. Acting in ways that treat competition as a game, not a war.
G. Coaches/athletes searching out opposing participants to recognize them for outstanding performances.
H. Applause at end of contest for performances of all participants.
I. Everyone showing concern for an injured athlete, regardless of team.
J. Encouraging other people in attendance to display only sportsmanlike conduct.
K. Showing respect for another school’s singing of its Alma Mater.

Unacceptable Behavior.......
A. Using disrespectful, taunting, or derogatory yells, chants, songs or gestures or any cheers or actions that gloat in victory.
B. Singling out individuals on an opposing team for derogatory or insensitive treatment (inclusive of name calling, applauding only when that player touches ball, calling players by name or number, etc.).
C. Using any racial or sexual remarks.
D. Engaging in retaliatory cheers even if it is felt that the opposing school has violated the spirit or letter of this sportsmanship code.
E. Throwing of any objects onto or near the field of play.
F. Booing or heckling an official’s decision.
G. Criticizing officials in any way or displays of temper with an official’s call.
H. Using yells that antagonize opponents.
I. Refusing to shake hands or to give recognition for good performances.
J. Blaming loss of game on officials, coaches, or athletes.
K. Using profanity or displays of anger that draw attention away from the game.
L. Using noisemakers at any time unless these are mascots or traditional items that have prior approval of the League.
M. Unauthorized visiting of other school’s rooting section.
N. Going onto the court or field before, during, or immediately after contest.
O. Showing disrespect for anyone involved in the athletic event.