Oklahoma Steps Up

July 25, 2017

The Oklahoma Secondary School Activities Association has announced plans to better promote sportsmanship in high school sports games in the next academic year. According to Tulsa World, David Jackson, executive director of the OSSAA, said this was meant to address a decline in sportsmanship over the past few years.

“It’s not one particular incident,” he said. “It’s more like a situation where student bodies feel comfortable in being negative and yelling personal things. (Some of) what we hear aimed at officials, coaches and kids is just not what we feel is healthy in our activities. It’s something that’s been building, without a doubt.”

The OSSAA has used media advertisements to promote good sportsmanship for many years, and Jackson describes the new initiative as a continuation of those efforts, saying that good sportsmanship “has been very important” to his organization.

“We’ll continue to do those things, but we’ve got to do things with more teeth,” Jackson said. “We don’t want to put mandates in place, but it’s something we need to sell to our schools and administrators and anyone who has a stake in high school athletics. We understand that we have to have every group on board. We’ve got to keep it in front of people and this will be a whole new push.”

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