Sportsmanship Statement


The Hicksville School District takes proper decorum at sporting events very seriously. It is our goal to protect the best interests of the student-athletes and school district.  We are committed to providing an enjoyable experience for everyone.  We hope that parents, spectators, and students will embrace that initiative and support our efforts in that direction.   
An educational environment is critical to the success of interscholastic athletics.  An important part of that environment is the learning of sportsmanship.  Without sportsmanship at a contest, the lessons learned lose their value.  Remember when you are at an interscholastic event that you are really in a classroom where" Good sportsmanship" is the lesson and "good sports" receive the highest grade.

"Our chief interest should not lie in the great champions in sport.  On the contrary, our concern should be first of all to widen the base, the foundation in athletic sports: to encourage in every way a healthy rivalry which shall give to the largest possible number of students the chance to take part in vigorous outdoor games." 
-Theodore Roosevelt

Sportsmanship Recommendation for Spectators

1. Know and demonstrate the fundamentals of sportsmanship.  Remember that you are at a contest to support and encourage your team and to enjoy the skill and competition, not to intimidate or ridicule the other team and its fans.  Learn the rules of the game so that you may understand and appreciate why certain situations take place.

2. Respect, cooperate and respond positively to cheerleaders

3. Censure fellow spectators whose behavior is unbecoming

4. Respect the property of the school and authority of school officials

5. Show respect for an injured player

6. Do not applaud errors by opponents or penalties inflicted upon them

7. Do not heckle, jeer or distract members of the opposing team

8. Never criticize the players or coaches for a loss of a game

9. Respect the judgment and strategy of the coach-refrain from being a second guesser

10. Avoid profane language or obnoxious behavior, which are detrimental to good sportsmanship



"It is not your game, it's ours, the players and student-athletes that are competing.  We hope the spectators will watch, enjoy, encourage and be proud of us, win or lose.  We need your support and enthusiasm, not your yelling and criticism."

Guidelines for Parents of Student/Athletes

1. Fans should be seen and heard in a positive manner throughout the contest.
As a parent and community member watching a contest, you should try to blend in with the woodwork. Don’t draw attention to yourself. The games are all about the students, not about you and your comments. If you have to say something during a contest, it should only be positive praise. Never direct negative comments towards our student-athletes, their opponents, or the officials. Root for the entire team, not just one individual kid.

2. Fans should never publicly criticize their child and never, ever criticize somebody else’s child!
Provide positive support, care, and encouragement to your student-athlete and our team. If you feel compelled to try and coach your player from the sidelines, or make some disparaging remarks, then you have crossed the line. Never ever criticize some other parent’s player on your team or the opponents. Everyone wants to win, but it isn’t a win at all costs mentality.
Don’t belittle or demean your child with hurtful comments about his/her performance or lack of success. Players look to their parents for approval during contests and if you look like you’re having a good time, then he or she will feel the same way. But if you’re scowling, or cursing, or stomping around, then your player will take that as a sign that they ought to be nervous and angry, too. So, relax leave your game face at home and wear a relaxed face to our games.

3. Every athletic contest is a learning experience for our student-athletes and our fans.

After the game, treat the contest as a learning experience and build on the positive and minimize the negatives of your child’s performance. I have seen too many relationships damaged between a parent and child because of ill-advised comments made in the heat of the moment immediately after a contest. Every player has a critical role in the team’s success. However, not every player can be the leading scorer. Show your child you value and accept his/her role in the team’s success. Love and accept your child for what he/she is, not for what you wished he/she is on the athletic field.

4. It is okay to applaud a nice play by an opposing player.

We’re trying to teach our students to be good sports, and to respect their opponents and the officials. So if one of the opposing players makes a great play, applaud it! That’s okay- yes, even sometimes the opposing team makes good plays! And you should tell your child that it’s okay for their opponents to be talented as well.

5. Coaching is the Coaches job

Allow the coach to be responsible for your athlete during practices, games, or team related activities. Please do not coach your child from the stands. This presents confusion to the player and places an unfair pressure upon him to decide loyalty. Ultimately, your child is expected to do what he is being coached to do by his coach. When your child listens to you instead of the coach, he or she probably will be removed from the game by the coach.
Remember that there is more than one way to approach most situations in a game. Coaches are doing their best to make the right decisions based upon situations and the ability of their players. We all make mistakes and none of us start with those intentions. Respect their decisions and factor in execution of the players before forming bold opinions of their coaching abilities.

6. Our fans represent our school and community and other schools will judge the quality and character of our school district based on your behavior.

The coaching staff and administration ask you to demonstrate sportsmanship as you consciously recognize how you treat the officials, the opponent’s fans and players, and anyone else involved with the game. You represent our school just as much as our coaches and players. We ask you to remain aware of the types of behaviors you are modeling to our students. Understand that you are a role model for your child and others. So if you’re going nuts on the referees, or throwing a temper tantrum, or seem emotionally unsettled in the stands, don’t be surprised if your child and our student body start acting the same way. If you behave this way, I can assure you it embarrasses the fans around you and more importantly your child.

7. Officials are not to be criticized or verbally abused in any way.

Respect the position and professionalism of game officials. Officials are human beings like you and I and they are going to make an occasional mistake. Understand that the vast majority of people do not know where to draw the line when it comes to questioning an official’s call.

Unfortunately, too many fans think that an official can somehow be psychologically influenced during a contest and that if they keep chirping and pointing out the mistakes of the official, they will begin to give our team the close calls. Of course, that never happens. If anything, the official will just get annoyed with our fans and then all of the close calls will go in the direction of our opponent. Thus, our student-athletes will be the ones who will suffer if you choose to criticize officials. If a questionable call is made during a game, it is the coaches responsibility to discuss it with them in a respectful, professional manner.

Remember that it takes everyone from our school district and its programs to be considered a success not just on the field or court, but in the stands during the game, and the parking lot after the game. It is human nature to be critical. But a schools success is based upon the commitment and sportsmanship of all. Any school program has a higher potential for success if everyone supports it in a positive manner. I look forward to your presence and support at each and every one of our contests this year.

Please take the time to enjoy the games and our student-athletes commitment and dedication to their sport and our school.Make sure your children know that win or lose; your proud of them.  Let them know that you appreciate their effort and that you will not be disappointed in them if the score is not in their favor.  Be the person in their life they can always look to for support.

Try to be completely honest with yourself about your children's athletic capability, their competitive attitude, their sportsmanship and their level of skill.

Be helpful, but do not coach your children on the way to the game or at the breakfast table.  Think how tough it must be on them to be continually inundated with advice, pep talks and criticism.

Teach your children to enjoy the thrill of competition, to be "out there trying" constantly working to improve their skills, to take the physical bumps and come back for more.
Do not tell them that winning doesn't count, because it does and they know it.  Instead, help them to develop a healthy competitive attitude, a "feel" for competing, for trying hard, and for having a good time.

Do not compete with your children's coach.  A coach may become a hero to them for a while, someone who can do no wrong, and you may find that hard to take.  Or your children may become disenchanted with the coach.  Do not side with them against the coach.

Don't compare your children with other players on the team, at least not within their hearing.  If they have tendency to resent the treatment they get from the coach, if they are jealous of the approval other players get, try to be honest with them

Don't lie to your child about their capabilities as a player.  If you are overly protective, you will perpetuate the problems.

Get to know your children's coach.  Make sure that you approve of the coach's attitudes and ethics.  A coach can be very influential and you should know what his/her values are so that you can decide whether or not you want them passed on to your child.

Remember that children tend to exaggerate when they are praised and when they are criticized.  Remember your reactions to the stories your children bring home from the school.  Don't criticize them for exaggerating, but don't overact to the stories they tell you.

Teach your child the meaning of courage.  Courage is not the absence of fear.  Courage is learning to perform in spite of fear.  Courage is not getting rid of fear.  It is overcoming it.

Remember that officials are necessary.  Don't overreact to their calls.  They have rules and guidelines to follow and are representing authority during the game.  Teach your children to respect authority and to play by the rules.

Finally, remember if they children aren't having fun we're missing the whole point of interscholastic and youth sports.