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Rule 52 - Sportsmanship Interpretations

The following interpretations and policies were adopted by the KSHSAA Executive Board on November 17, 1988, in regard to Citizenship/Sportsmanship Rule 52. These are meant to clarify and assist member schools in their enforcement of this regulation. (revised June 9, 2014)

Desirable and unacceptable behavior illustrations are “examples” and are not to be considered all inclusive. These examples can occur prior to, during, and after the game or contest.

In regard to 52-1-1a - Be courteous to all (participants, cheerleaders, coaches, officials, staff and fans):

Desirable Behavior – Host cheerleading squads welcome visiting squads; respect shown during National Anthem (hats removed, no talking, never change lyrics or yell mascot at the end); opposing coaches and contestants shaking hands before/after contest; applause during introduction of contestants, coaches and officials; contestants shaking hand of opponent fouling out while both sets of fans recognize contestant’s performance with applause; all showing concern for injured contestant; respectfully addressing officials during competition and thanking them for their performance regardless of agreement with all calls; helping opponents up during a game; host school extending hospitality to visiting contestants, coaches, cheerleaders and fans; any supportive chants and cheers which are directed toward your team, i.e. “I believe we can win,” “we’ve got spirit-how about you,” “defense-defense” and other such supportive expressions.

Unacceptable Behavior – Any non-supportive chants, cheers, or actions which are directed toward the opposing team; chants or actions which single out individuals; fans or cheerleaders reading newspapers, turning their backs, making disrespectful actions, etc. during introduction of opponents or shooting of free throws; yelling, waving, etc., during opponent’s free throws; derogatory/disrespectful yells, chants, songs, gestures, including “goodbye,” “you let the whole team down,” “air ball,” “scoreboard,” “you can’t do that,” “this is our house” at a visitor event, “dribble-dribble-pass,” “bong-bong-bong-whooo” while opposing team has ball, and other such expressions directed toward opponents. .

In regard to 52-1-lb - Know the rules, abide by and respect the official’s decisions:

Desirable Behavior - Utilize every opportunity to promote understanding of the rules of the contest within the school and community; contestants utilize the team captain or coach for clarification of the call to maintain positive rapport with officials; accept the decisions of the officials; hand ball to officials; cheerleaders lead fans in positive school yells in a positive manner; cheerleaders lead by coordinating signals and timing of cheers with student body section leaders; cooperate with the news media in interpretation and clarification of the rules.

Unacceptable Behavior - Booing or heckling an official’s decision; criticizing the merits of officiating; displays of temper and arguing with an official’s call; derogatory remarks toward the official, coach constantly questioning calls.

In regard to 52-1-lc - Win with character and lose with dignity:

Desirable Behavior - Handshakes between opposing contestants and coaches at end of contest, regardless of outcome; opposing contestants, coaches and fans engaging in friendly conversations before and following contest; treating competition as a contest, not a war; applause at end of contest for performance of all contestants.

Unacceptable Behavior - Chants or actions which single out individuals; yells that antagonize opponents when you feel you have won the contest; refusing to shake hands or give recognition to winner for good performance; blaming loss on officials, coaching, individual contestant’s performance, or other rationalizations; rushing the field/floor or victory celebration on the playing surface/field.

In regard to 52-1-ld - Display appreciation for good performance regardless of the team:

Desirable Behavior - Coach/contestants search out opposing participants to recognize them for outstanding performance or coaching; all fans recognize an outstanding participant’s performance by applause, regardless of its impact on the contest; discuss outstanding performance of opponent with visiting and home fans.

Unacceptable Behavior - Laughing, pointing finger, name calling, yelling player name or number, etc., directed at opponents in an attempt to distract; to degrade an excellent performance by opponents.

In regard to 52-1-le - Exercise self-control and reflect positively upon yourself, team and school:

Desirable Behavior - Support the activity by learning yells of cheerleaders and displaying total unity as fans in following their lead; cheerleaders leading by coordinating signals and timing of cheers with student body section leaders to redirect crowd from a controversial call.

Unacceptable Behavior - Displays of anger, boasting, use of profanity, bouncing beach balls, antics which draw attention to you instead of the contest; doing own yells instead of following lead of the cheerleaders; doing unsportsmanlike yells/gestures, such as “you can’t do that” while pointing finger at opponent; singling out individuals.

In regard to 52-1-1f - Permit only positive sportsmanlike behavior to reflect on your school or its activities:

Desirable Behavior - Positively encourage those around you to display only sportsmanlike conduct; report poor sportsmanship to school officials; member schools insist that sportsmanship be a priority; administrators help coaches teach, model and reinforce sportsmanship; recognize coaches for sportsmanlike conduct; coaches playing those who exhibit positive sportsmanship; administrators taking appropriate action to ensure sportsmanlike behavior.

Unacceptable Behavior - Fans’, cheerleaders’, contestants’, coaches’, administrators’, or member schools’ unwillingness to get involved and take a stand to defend one of the main tenets of school activities - teaching and promotion of SPORTSMANSHIP.




Kansas State High School Activities Association
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