Defending against un-sportsmanlike conduct

Actions speak louder than words. This is true in all aspects of life, especially when playing sports. Sportsmanship is the fair behavior or treatment of others during sporting events. Players aren’t the only ones who must partake in good sportsmanship; fans and coaches should too.

“[Poor sportsmanship] makes everyone look bad. It depends on the degree, parents going against officials, players against players, players against officials,” Athletic Director Rob Heise said.  McNicholas is part of the GCL Coed Division, which has rules regarding sportsmanship. “The state has rules and the league has rules about signs that are offensive. Don’t make it personal where it is directed at a certain player or coach,” Heise said.

Sports are a way to exercise competition, but when the competition becomes more intense than it should, when it starts to become personal, that’s when un-sportsmanlike actions begin to occur.

 “If you look at the negative side of things on sportsmanship, it is very selfish. You are upset with a call or what someone did,” Director of Student Life Mike Orlando said.

Sports games may be the first time that someone sees people from the McNicholas community, and a lack of sportsmanship speaks loudly. “When we play hard and with sportsmanship, that speaks volumes too,” Orlando said.

Sportsmanship doesn’t just affect the people watching the game. How the community acts affect the leaders of that community; the teachers, administration, and the parents of the players and the student fans are all influenced by the behavior of those at the game. Assistant Athletic Director, Tim Monahan said, “Let our play do the talk, not our mouths. You wear the school name and represent everyone. You get the perception that they are dirty players and a dirty team. It trickles to the top, like we are supporting it [un-sportsmanship].”

With the ever-rising popularity of social media, people have access to a wide variety of locations where they can display their opinions on any subject. This outlet allows people to direct their anger from a certain play or call, towards a specific person or group. “Un-sportsmanship [behavior] creates hard feelings between schools. With social media, it stirs the pot and makes it worse. It becomes an issue of payback, and it escalates,” Heise said.

Director of Technology Andy Ey referees both boys’ and girls’ basketball in the GCL, GMC, CHL, MVC, and SBC leagues in greater Cincinnati and lower Dayton. “If I see un-sportsmanlike conduct, as an official, it’s hard to separate that and stay objective, but my job is to stay objective,” Ey said.

 “I don’t like when people say ‘today’s kids’ kids are the same. Now everyone has a venue or a platform, before you had to be there to see it. I think there are some issues with our society for notoriety. It’s not just kids, its adults too,” Orlando said.

On Feb. 10, McNicholas played Carroll High School. “Root for you team, but by rooting for your team you don’t need to berate the other team,” Heise said.
Photo Courtesy of Elizabeth Granlund.

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