Spring is a wonderful time of year, the flowers bloom, the birds sing and baseball starts again. Being able to be outside again after a long, cold winter often inspires people to play intermural sports. Intermural sports allow students to meet new people and make friends they normally wouldn’t make and those could always turn into lasting friendships.
Having played various sports for the last decade, I have met opposing players and teams who, no matter the outcome of the game, always conduct themselves with outstanding decorum and others who let their emotions get the best of them. When playing sports it its important to keep in mind that no matter how competitive it may be, in the end it is about having fun. Whether you win or lose the game is just a formality.
What you should do:
No matter what happens in the game, it is important to give credit where credit is due. If a girl has a great catch, stop her after the game and tell her. If a batter has a great hit, depending on how fast she is going, tell her it was a nice hit. There is nothing wrong with applauding the opposing team if it is well deserved.
If you are winning by a significant margin, show a little mercy. I have played in games where we coordinated who would step of the bag early to get the out so we wouldn’t embarrass the other team. Run rule wins do happen, but if your game is past that point, help the other team out.
Admit the umpire was wrong if you know they were wrong. Umpires can’t always make the right calls and that can impact the game in big ways. If the ump makes a bad call against your opponent, depending on how heated the discussion is, you can tell the player “yeah I thought you were safe too.” Honesty in games like softball and baseball, makes other coaches and teams have respect for you and enjoy playing you, whether you beat them or not.
What you should not do:
If you are loosing, do not implode on the field. Tempers flaring and arguments on the field only make people think poorly of a team. If a spectator looks out at the field and five girls are crying and one just got done cussing out the umpire, no matter what happens in the game, that team just lost the respect of the umpires and probably wont be asked to come back next season.
Don’t take away from what the opposing team rightfully deserves. Don’t try to downplay someone’s hit or a great play just because you lost. They played well; there is no reason to deny it. Just shake hands and try to move on.
Excessive celebration has a time and a place. If it’s a close championship game, then by all means celebrate away, but if it is a league game there is no reason to celebrate that much. Celebrating great plays and hits is a good thing and it helps with team moral, but it can also have an effect on the opposing teams mentality. If a team is not playing the best and the opposing team is very cocky and arrogant, it just makes things worse. It is okay to have fun when you play but you have to consider the fact that you were not the only team playing that game.
Playing sports is meant to be fun and allow for students to unwind from their incredibly busy schedules. Don’t be the team to ruin that for someone else, intentional or not, sportsmanship is not something to be taken lightly, even when you are just having fun.
Image cited: http://lasamurai.blogspot.com/2012/08/sportsmanship-nadeshiko-japan-style.html