A Shared Code

January 29, 2015

Sometimes fan behavior varies greatly among schools even within the same league. How do you get everyone on the same page?

For the Southwest Washington 1A League (SWW1A), the solution was to collaborate on a Sportsmanship Code of Conduct.

The idea for a league-wide code came from Bryan Bahr, Principal at Rainier (Wash.) High School, a member of the SWW1A, and was facilitated by Athletic Director John Beckman. They believed the statement would be best received if it was developed by students and invited a group from each school in the league to Ranier for a summit.

"A sportsmanship code means more when it comes from the student-athletes and reflects what they want," says Beckman. "There's automatic buy-in from the other members of the student body."

The day began with icebreaker activities, after which the students broke up into groups to discuss what they wanted to see in the code, using examples of other leagues' statements as a reference. The groups eventually combined their ideas into the following:

In order to demonstrate sportsmanship, citizenship, spirit, and pride in our schools, we must show respect and conduct ourselves in an appropriate manner. We shall refrain from profanity, derogatory comments, and other intimidating words or actions directed at officials, participants, spectators, coaches, and advisors. Accept both victory and defeat with pride, integrity, and composure.

"Several schools are printing it on the backs of their game programs or announcing it at the start of contests," says Beckman. "At one of our Friday night football games, a cheerleader and her parent, a school board member, read the statement in front of the crowd, and it was really well received."

Elyssa Champlin, a sophomore who plays basketball and runs cross country at Ranier, participated in the summit and feels the new code is working. "The crowd isn't as negative as it used to be," she says. "We are hearing more positive cheering. And knowing the players on the other team as a result of working with them makes the games more fun. We're still competing, but I don't view my opponents as enemies. I see them as friends."

SEARCH for Products
SEARCH for Vendors

A Rebounder With Versatility

Medicine ball exercises are a staple of many workout routines. Whether the goal is performance enhancement by strengthening the core or helping an athlete rehab from an injury, medicine balls are versatile piece of equipment that can get the job done. But most strength coaches and athletic trainers don’t have enough time available to catch … CLICK TO READ MORE...

Author and Strength Coach Mike Mejia Praises VersaClimber

“Over the course of the past twenty years I’ve trained hundreds of clients that run the gamut from average Joe’s to professional athletes and in all that time, I’ve never come across a cardio piece that comes anywhere near the Versa Climber!” says Mike Mejia M.S., CSCS, author of The Men’s Heath Better Body Blueprint, … CLICK TO READ MORE...

Indoor Pool Surface Solution

Mateflex has indoor pool surfacing that is safer and more enjoyable to walk on than concrete. Mateflex offers perforated tiles to allow water to drain through that can cover up old, unsightly concrete or just spruce up a new area with a colorful design. The interlocking tiles dry quickly while keeping your feet out of … CLICK TO READ MORE...