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Be good sports —on the field and in the stands

By Staff | Aug 21, 2009

The bleachers will soon be filled with fans cheering their teams to victory.

Yes, another school year is upon us, and high school sporting events kick off this week.

We do put a high emphasis on sports, judging by the large number who participate and attend games faithfully.

And while many get caught up in the excitement and joy that sports often create, let’s be mindful there sometimes is an ugly side to all the action.

It’s called poor sportsmanship.

And at one time or another we’ve all witnessed it firsthand – either sitting next to an obnoxious fan who badgers an official; or seeing a player act unruly in the game; or a coach openly criticizing a player or referee.

Good sportsmanship is emphasized by the North Dakota High School Activities Association, and steps have been taken by schools to address the issue and encourage coaches, players and the hometown fans to exhibit good sportsmanship. A code of conduct is read before every sporting event and is included in the programs at each home contest in Rugby.

And as fans we may realize we have an active part to play in the sporting event.

Cheer loudly, or softly, for your team, but never cheer against or boo the competition. Stand when the school song is played for both teams. Applaud good effort displayed by both teams. Be sensitive to the tough task officials have taken on and remember players and coaches are trying their best.

Sports are an important part of the education process for our youth. Like other extracurricular activities, they require dedication and sacrifice as well as support.

Remember, seasons come and go, but the impressions we leave on others in the stands can last much longer.

Practice good sportsmanship this school year.

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