By Kerry Cordy
Good sportsmanship can be defined as playing fair, following the rules of the game, respecting the judgment of the referees and officials, treating others with respect, and maintaining a good attitude.
(You may use any higher level requirement as an optional requirement.)
Preschool: Do three requirements including the one starred and two optional.
_____ 1.* Be able to explain what good sportsmanship is. Discuss what it means to be a sore loser. How should you behave if you lose a game or competition? What does it mean to be a poor winner? How should you behave if you win a game or competition? Play a game or participate in a competition or contest and demonstrate that you understand what it means to be a good loser or a graceful winner.
Level 1: Do four requirements including the two starred and two optional.
_____ 1.* Do Preschool requirement 1. Role play a situation where someone is a poor loser or a poor winner. Then role play how that person should have behaved to be a gracious winner or loser.
_____ 2.* Discuss what it means to be fair and honest when competing. Why is winning by cheating wrong? Who does it hurt? Why is it still wrong even if you don’t get caught? Discuss how you feel when you win by being fair and how you would feel if you knew you won because some part of the competition wasn’t fair.
Level 2: Do five requirements including the two starred and three optional.
_____ 1.* Do Level 1 requirements 1 & 2.
_____ 2.* Participate in a game or competition. Before beginning, make sure you understand all the rules, procedures and policies. Even if you do not agree with all the rules, understand that if you are to participate, you need to accept the rules as they stand and abide by the results. Find out who you can appeal to if you feel the rules are unfair and what the procedures are for possibly getting the rules changed. Role play a situation where you think rules are unfair and demonstrate how you would handle the situation.
Level 3: Do six requirements including the two starred and four optional.
_____ 1.* Do Level 2 requirements 1 & 2.
_____ 2.* Discuss how personal accountability plays a part in good sportsmanship. Think about a recent situation when you lost a game or competition. Did you do your very best? If you lost a competition because you did not study hard enough, practice long enough, or put in a full effort you should recognize that fact and accept it, not blame other people or circumstances for your loss. Do not make excuses for your own lack of effort. Choose a game or other competition that you would like to do better in. Make a plan to improve your results by increasing your study time, focus on practicing areas where you are weak, etc. Then compete again and compare your results. Did the extra effort help? Where can you still improve? Learn to take pride in your own accomplishments even when you do not necessarily win the event.
Level 4: Do seven requirements including the two starred and five optional.
_____ 1.* Do Level 3 requirements 1 & 2 at your current level.
_____ 2.* Participate in a game or competition and evaluate both your behavior and the behavior of both the other participants as well as the audience. Answer “Yes” or “No” to each of the following questions for yourself, your competitors, the audience, and the parents of the players (if applicable). Discuss your results
Did you/they demonstrate sportsmanship before, during, and after the event?
Did you/they maintain a high standard of personal behavior that reflected well on your/their family, club, or team?
Did you/they behave honestly and fairly?
Did you/they show courtesy and kindness to others?
Did you/they gracefully accept the results?
Level 5: Do nine requirements including the two starred and seven optional.
_____ 1. * Do Level 4 requirements 1 & 2
_____ 2. * Teach someone how to do a skill from this badge or teach some knowledge about this badge to someone. You can teach kids, your spouse, seniors, anyone, just as long as you are sharing your new found knowledge. If for some reason you cannot teach what you have learned to someone else, you may choose an additional 2 optional requirements instead.
_____ 3. Find at least three current news stories that show good sportsmanship and share them with your club, family, or friends. Discuss how their behavior reflects a good sport.
_____ 4. Role play ways to deal with someone who is a sore lose or poor winner. Discuss ways you can politely show someone that their winning attitude hurts others, or that their losing attitude takes the joy away from everyone involved, both winners and losers. Discuss the saying, “It’s not about whether you win or lose, but how you play the game.” What does this mean and how should it affect your enjoyment of a competition?
_____ 5. Participate in a community service project that involves being a good sport. You might walk in a walk-a-thon to raise money for charity and show that it doesn’t matter how much you raise because every dollar counts, or you might host a game day for younger children demonstrating how to be a good sport regardless of the outcome of each game.
_____ 6. Play a game where you have to take turns being a leader. Discuss how to make sure that everyone gets a turn in a fair manner. How will you decide who goes first? Can everyone agree to this method? How should you express your disagreement? What happens if you are outvoted?
_____ 7. Read a book that displays good sportsmanship in its characters. Discuss the book with your club, friends, or family.
_____ 8. Watch a movie that displays good sportsmanship in its characters. Discuss the movie with your club, friends, or family.
_____ 9. Learn about careers where demonstrating and teaching good sportsmanship is necessary. Examples might be a teacher, coach, professional athlete, or youth counselor. Research one of these careers. What type of salary could you expect? What hours might you have to work? Where might you have to live?
_____ 10. Role play good sportsmanship when you are an observer rather than a player. Cheer on your teammates with positive statements and avoid trash-talking the other team. Acknowledge and applaud good plays, even when someone on the other team makes them. When officials make a call, accept it gracefully even if it goes against you. Remember that referees may not be right every time — but they’re people who are doing their best, just as you are. Whether you win or lose, congratulate your opponents on a game well played.