Sportsmanship Policy

Statement of Administrative Responsibility

Member schools are expected to conduct their relations with each other at all levels of competition in a spirit of good sportsmanship in keeping with the objectives of the Association. Everyone involved has the obligation to clearly see his/her influence and act accordingly.          

This Association acknowledges that the school administration is responsible for the athletic program, including the making of the broad and specific policies relating to sportsmanship and the conduct of activities in the schools. The school principal, for example, as the administrative head of his/her school, has the responsibility for establishing the principles of good sportsmanship in the minds of the entire school family. He/She realizes that the kind of sportsmanship that is practiced or displayed by the representatives of his/her school will reflect to its credit or otherwise.

The principal, therefore, is the final authority responsible for all athletic activity of his/her school at whatever level of competition these are engaged in. In recognition of this authority and responsibility, the following general recommendations are suggested by the Association as a guide to school administrators with respect to sportsmanship policy.

General guideline recommendations:

a. Each School Board should outline specific policies pertaining to Sportsmanship, and ensure that the school personnel in their Division are aware of the responsibility to observe the policies and proper conduct.

b. Each school administration should insist that personnel set good examples of behaviour and sportsmanship and to correct those individuals at fault, at a time convenient, in a manner adequate for this situation.

c. Each school administration should utilize all appropriate occasions and means to emphasize desirable behaviour and sportsmanship to all students and school personnel.

d. The supervision of trips and away contests should be such as to assure that the conduct of school representatives bring credit to themselves, their school and their sport.   To this end, the Association advocates the full promotion of co-operative host-guest relationships between and among schools entering into athletic competition.   

Association Responsibility and Sportsmanship Rule

  1. Association Responsibility: The Association recognizes and appreciates that the influence and responsibility of the school administration with regard to good sportsmanship extends to all levels of competition.  However, it must also be seen that the Association has been vested with the responsibility to ensure that all contests under its jurisdiction are conducted satisfactorily.  In exercising its responsibility as it applies to the principles of good sportsmanship, the Association will be guided by the following rule.
  2. Sportsmanship Rule: HIGH STANDARDS OF COURTESY, FAIR PLAY, AND SPORTSMANSHIP MUST FEATURE ALL ASSOCIATION COMPETITIONS.  (While this rule is a general statement and one, which may be difficult to reduce to objective standards in terms of enforcement, it is the heart of the entire Association program.  Good sportsmanship, respect for rules, respect for others, and fair play are basically the motives through which an interscholastic athletic program is justified and defended.)  The integrity of schools, coaches, representative teams and competitors shall be above reproach.  It is imperative that schools endeavor to honour all commitments.  Competition should be in the spirit of friendly rivalry rather than enmity.  Emphasis should at all times be on the activity rather than on the result.
  3. Executive Authority:  The Association vests authority in its President and Executive Director to investigate and take appropriate action on any reported flagrant violation of the sportsmanship rule occurring during inter-zone, regional, or provincial competitions.
  4. Violations: Reported violations shall be resolved in a manner sufficient to correct the problem, and may range from a written statement of findings by the Board of Directors to the school administrators, to probation or suspension for the school.
  5. Any report of a flagrant violation of the sportsmanship rule occurring during an Association sponsored event, must be submitted in writing and posted within 48 hours of the incident to the Executive Director of the Association.
  6. The MHSAA be allowed to extend the suspension of an athlete to other MHSAA Provincial Sport Championships when abuse of other players, coaches or officials occurs.
  7. Social Media – appropriate behavior is expected when using social media.  Inappropriate activity and comments is unacceptable.