Sportsmanship: Sideline Etiquette
Sports often bring out the competitive side in many individuals, but when tempers flare, the game can get ruined for everyone. Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation (MWR) offers a number of intramural sports and other recreational activities to keep service members and their Families active and engaged with the Army community. But these programs can only be provided when participating individuals respect their opponents and display proper sportsmanship and sideline etiquette, whether on or off the field.
Competition can be a great way to have fun with your fellow doughboys while blowing off some steam, but it's important to keep your emotions in check and always pay respect to the game. Here are some guidelines for putting your best foot forward when you take the playing field.
Keep Your Temper in Check
Whether it's you or your children out on the playing field, tempers need to be controlled at all times. Emotions may run high in the heat of competition, but hot heads can lead to scuffles, fights and other events that mar a recreational event. Always enter competition understanding that everyone's there to have fun, and help keep others around you under control if you see them starting to boil over.
Respect Coaches and Referees
Officials and coaches are essential to putting on a recreational event, and they need to be given respect at all times. Inappropriate language, aggressive behavior, taunts or a disregard for their authority can all put a damper on the event. It's okay to respectfully disagree with an authority at a recreational event, but keep your interactions civil and don't create a hostile situation.
Use Respectful Language
Children and Families are often present at MWR events -- particularly youth sporting events. Their right to a clean, safe experience needs to be respected at all times. Use respectful language free of any profanities to preserve these events as an appropriate gathering for Army Families.
Leave Your Emotions on the Field
Regardless of the outcome of a game, don't lose your perspective once the event is over. Shake hands with the opponent and leave your emotions and frustrations on the field as you walk off. By enjoying the event for what it is and being mindful of your surroundings, you can save yourself from any post-event conflict and ensure everyone has a good time.
For more info on All Army Sports and other MWR programs, contact your local MWR office for more information.