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“FAIR PLAY EVERYDAY”. A Sportsmanship Training Program for High School Coaches. Do high school coaches need a sportsmanship program?. Most are doing OK Shake hands Treat Opponents OK BUT 1996 Head Butting Jersey Switching Baiting Officials Abuse: . The Number One Goal:.

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A Sportsmanship Training Program for

High School Coaches

Do high school coaches need a sportsmanship program?

  • Most are doing OK

  • Shake hands

  • Treat Opponents OK


  • 1996 Head Butting

  • Jersey Switching

  • Baiting Officials

  • Abuse:

The Number One Goal:

The NFHS and Most State Associations

To improve the level of sportsmanship and fair play in all high school athletic events.

Do guidelines exist for coaches?

  • National Federation of High School Associations (NFHS) publishes rules and sportsmanship programs

  • Many State Associations annually publish sportsmanship manuals

    • Some school districts have sportsmanship codes or guides

1997 state coaches association survey:

504 coaches surveyed

239 surveys returned

47% return rate


Only 27.2 % had received the Manual

Only 19.2 % had read the Manual


Basic Guidelines

Questions of Right Choice

  • Is the action or behavior Honorable?

  • Is the action or behavior Responsible?

  • Does the action or behavior foster or improve Cooperation?

Statement of the Problem

The purpose of this study was to analyze the effectiveness of a cognitive sportsmanship training program, based on the stated concepts of a high school activities association sportsmanship manual, on selected coaches as evidenced on a pencil and paper test instrument.

Group 1

Group 2

Control Group

Fair Play Everyday video & SQ

NFHS Be A Sport video & SQ

No video or program

Sportsmanship Questionnaire only

Group Design

Video Development

  • Limited to 15 minutes

  • Use possible real life dilemmas that occur in sport settings

  • Use training methods of presentation, reinforcement, repetition, saturation

  • Questions of Right Choice are presented in 9 different ways

    • watch video

Data Collection

School selection: Random selection

  • Representatives from 37 of 42 schools in the region

  • N = 420

    • Group 1 (Fair Play Everyday) = 171

    • Group 2 (NFHS Be A Sport) = 135

    • Control Group (No Treatment) = 114

Coaches by School Size


A-1 = 181

A-2 = 109

A-3 = 60

A-4 = 67

Coaches by Gender


Male = 317

Female = 103

Data Collection (continued)

Statistical Hypothesis One

No difference exists by coaching treatment group on cognitive sportsmanship test scores

Statistical Hypothesis One (continued)

  • Group 1 M = 3.942a

  • Group 2 M = 3.652a

  • Control M = 3.338b

    • There is a significant difference

Statistical Hypothesis Two

No difference exists by coach gender on cognitive sportsmanship test scores.

Statistical Hypothesis Two(continued)


MaleM = 3.565

FemaleM = 3.723

There is no significant difference

Female mean is slightly higher

Statistical Hypothesis Two(continued)

  • Results are different from previous research

  • Goeb (1997): athletes tend to mirror coach’s level of moral reasoning (UND)

  • Fewer female coaches

  • Are female athletes becoming more affected by male coaches?

  • Difference in size of sample (317-103)?

Statistical Hypothesis Three

No difference exists by coach school size on cognitive sportsmanship test scores.

Statistical Hypothesis Three(continued)

School SizeMeanSEM





There is a significant difference.

Statistical Hypothesis Three(continued)

  • Larger schools scored much lower than the other school classifications.

  • Does school size affect how coaches view sportsmanship?

  • What is the best sized school for the best education?

    • Lee & Smith (1997) 600-900

    • Bracey (1998) Grad follow-up study

      • Sense of community and caring

Statistical Hypothesis Three(continued)

  • Begley, et al (1999) in Newsweek

    Large schools dampen enthusiasm for extracurricular activities

  • Is there a connection between school size and sportsmanship?

  • Can communities within larger schools be established to increase a sense of belonging?

Implications & Recommendations

  • Major question: could a 30-minute cognitive training program improve coaches’ sportsmanship information and application of questions of right choice?

    • Both treatment groups scored higher than the control (significantly)

    • Controls scored about the same as the pilot coaches

    • Indicates some change occurred with TRT

Implications & Recommendations

  • Sportsmanship Training Program seemed to fill a void

    • Athletic Directors were given relief

    • Large District AD said “sportsmanship is something we all need to discuss and practice, but are reluctant to bring it up”

    • Program provided a beginning point for further discussions

    • Coaches were anxious to talk after the presentations

Implications & recommendations

  • Coaches were given questions that can be applied everyday

  • Athletic Directors can use Fair Play Everyday for clinics

  • Fair Play Everyday can be used for boosters/parents

Implications & Recommendations

  • Sportsmanship Training Program

    • Discussion of application to dilemmas by coaches

    • Coaches should have an open forum for discussion of possible solutions among schools (develop Sportsmanship Plan for the school)

Implications & Recommendations

  • Program would require release time for coaches

  • Sends a message that Sportsmanship is important

  • Combats limited time of coaches

Implications & Recommendations

The objective has been to improve Sportsmanship in high school sports. The finish of this part of the project...

Implications & Recommendations

… is the beginning of a greater challenge and crusade.

“The journey is better than the inn”



The Journey

continues. . .

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