Sports, like any other discipline out there, has its own ethics that should be considered and be abided by. Sports is not limited to the arena of winning the game rather it teaches core values and skills to athletes that are required for the healthy growth of any individual. In order to understand this difference between that above two ideas; let’s understand the distinction between two inter-related terms gamesmanship and sportsmanship.
Winning the game is everything is the cornerstone for the development of the principle of Gamesmanship. Athletes and coaches alike, are prompted to turn around the whole scenario and use the rules in their favour whenever and however possible in order to just win the game in the end. This demonstrates the fact that in such a case; the safety measures and precautions are often disregarded. With the above being said; one can easily figure out the other standing pillars of gamesmanship:
1) Everything comes down to winning only
2) It is counted as cheating only if the person gets caught in the act
3) We can play however we want to since following the rules is not a part of our game and misdemeanour should be pointed out by the referee.
4) You only play to win whatever sport you play.
Of course, before you make an opinion regarding sports after reading the above; let’s see a more ethical and sensible approach to sports that is known as sportsmanship. This is where a person not only realizes his or her full potential by giving their best at everything possible; but they also cultivate an honourable and virtuous character. This inculcation on part of all competitors makes it possible to have a sports society where respect and trust-building take place mutually. In a nutshell, the ideology behind sportsmanship is not only to win the game rather win the game in the most honourable way possible by giving their best.
Ethics in sports is governed by four important principles: respect, responsibility, integrity, fairness.
• First and the foremost thing in any sport is for the athletes to be respectful to all teammates, coaches, officials and most importantly, their opponents. Yes, you read correctly!
• It is not only the athletes that are supposed to be respectful. It is a general notion but under sportsmanship; even the coaches are supposed to be respectful to their players, officials and also, the opponents.
• Last but definitely not the least; the fans should be conscious enough to be respectful to all the fans, officials and all the teams keeping aside their biases for their favourite ones.
• The next parameter is about how being responsible for your own performance is a trait and important feature of Ethics in sportsmanship. It requires coaches and athletes alike, to not only be responsible for their performance but also as to how they behave when in action on the field.
• It is quite a usual thing for athletes and coaches to blame the officials or the opponents in regards to why they lost a particular game. Instead of pointing fingers at others; it would be more fruitful to focus on the areas of the game that you have under control and can improve. In other words, how to improve your performance and work on the weak areas so that you can play better in the future.
• A part of being responsible under sportsmanship is to be aware of day-to-day updates regarding the rules and regulations of the concerned game. Hence, both athletes and coaches should be updated thoroughly.
• Another aspect of responsibility is the virtuous conduction of players and coaches alike off the field too.
• This parameter is a bit closely related to fairness; that we’ll discuss next. Imagine a player faking an injury or a foul in any sport, say, for example, soccer; they are undermining the spirit of sportsmanship. That is because this game is not meant to determine the extent to which they can fool people around. Faking of an injury is only an unappreciated way of slamming credibility questions on the faces of the hosts or the officials who are behind-the-scenes, working hard to bring about the event. This, in turn, hurts and crumples the integrity of the said game.
• The above-discussed parameters can only come about when athletes and coaches form a close-knit community where they follow the rules and regulations established for their games. In other words; they follow the path of fair plays.
• Of course, all is not well in the sports world. There are always going to be athletes or teams that go along the principle of gamesmanship. They try to use unfair means in order to win games which in turn; slams the whole idea of establishing the integrity of a sport.
• With the emergence of ideas regarding a third and ambiguous class of gender to various athletes belonging to various races, castes, religion and sexual orientation; it becomes a part of the ethics under sportsmanship that such individuals should not be, in any form discriminated with. This maintains fairness in the game.
• Lastly; the game cannot be truly fair if there is an introduction of bias on the part of the referees. Hence, rules of a particular game should be applied equally to both the parties.
We, at Sports Management Centre, understand this have been employing various measures to make it possible for our children to learn these four virtues and inculcate them in life. Our major focus has been in providing the best infrastructure for them to understand the tit-bits of every sport they indulge in and to understand the core values associated with them. With continuous efforts, we are sure to make a difference and Sports Management Centre would be an institution known for the same.