The Institute for International Sport will administer the 17th Annual National Sportsmanship Day celebration on March 6. Over 13,500 schools from throughout the United States and in many, many countries throughout the world are planning to participate in discussions and activities aimed at promoting good sportsmanship.
The two themes for National Sportsmanship Day 2007 are "Don't Punch Back, Play Harder" and "Defeat Gamesmanship." National Sportsmanship Day programs are designed for student-athletes from elementary school right up through intercollegiate competition.
The Institute for International Sport cites five principles of honorable competition for children to remember:
- Respect the game. This includes showing respect for opponents, referees, coaches and fans.
- Play by the rules, and within the spirit of the rules. Don’t try to get away with cheating or taking shortcuts just because you think no one will notice or catch you. The only real victories are honest victories, untainted by cheating or gamesmanship.
- Play your best, and understand that doing your best does not mean embarrassing or humiliating your opponent.
- Don’t punch back, play harder. When provoked, an athlete should ascend to the highest level of honorable competition by increasing focus and intensity, not by reacting in an undisciplined, unproductive way.
- Employ competitive self-restraint – play hard but with self-control.