March 1, 2024

Sportsmanship Procedures


Procedure Title:


Procedure ID:



I. Purpose of Procedure

To support the development of good sportsmanship in accordance with the Sportsmanship Policy.


II. Implementation of Procedures: The following procedures will be implemented throughout the Hartford School District:



  • Administrators and/or their designees will hold Preseason Meetings. The preseason meeting will be mandatory for parents or guardians of students who participate in Hartford School District athletic activities. Meetings will be held at the beginning of each season. The parent of guardian must attend at least one meeting during the year. A parent or guardian of each athlete must sign off that they have attended a meeting before the athlete will be allowed to participate. The office shall keep a list of parents or guardians that have attended.


  • All Players will sign and adhere to the Players’ Pledge.

“As a student participating in my school’s interscholastic activities, I understand and accept the following responsibilities:

○      I will respect the rights and beliefs of others and will treat others with courtesy and consideration.

○      I will be fully responsible for my own actions and the consequences of my actions.

○      I will respect the property of others.

○      I will respect and obey the rules of the game, my school and the laws of my community, state and country.

○      I will show respect to those who are responsible for enforcing the rules of the game, my school and the laws of my community, state and country.”


  • During the course of each school year, Hartford School District will implement an Evaluation Process whereby administrators and/or their designees will gather feedback and hold evaluation meetings to determine the effectiveness of the sportsmanship program. These meeting will be held at the end of each group of seasons (i.e., Fall, Winter, Spring). Items to consider in the evaluation process may include:


○      promotional activities

○      team and fan behavior

○      school procedures to handle conflicts

○      recognition programs to reward good sports behavior

○      crowd control plans

○      codes of conduct

○      contingency plan



All District Policies with respect to behavior apply to athletic activities.  This is specifically true with respect to harassment, hazing and bullying.


  • Behavioral Expectations for all Participants and Fans at athletic contests are as follows:


Acceptable Behavior

○      Accept all decisions of contest officials.

○      Applaud during player introductions.

○      Handshakes between participants and coaches at the end of the contest, regardless of the outcome.

○      Treat the competition as a GAME.

○      Showing concern for an injured player, regardless of team.


Unacceptable behavior


○      Disrespectful or derogatory yells, chants, songs or gestures.

○      Booing or heckling an official’s decision.

○      Criticizing, disrespecting or threatening officials in any way.

○      Yells that antagonize opponents.

○      Refusing to shake hands.

○      Blaming the loss of a game on an official, coach or participant.

○      Taunting or name calling to distract an opponent.

○      Use of profanity.

○      Hand-held signs containing derogatory language.



School Administrators

  • Develop and implement a program for teaching and promoting sportsmanship.
  • Provide appropriate supervisory personnel for each interscholastic event.
  • Recognize exemplary behavior and actively discourage undesirable conduct by participants, coaches and fans.
  • Attend events whenever possible.
  • Apply sportsmanship policies/rules equitably at all times.
  • Develop a crowd control plan for both home and away games.
  • Develop contingency plans to manage emergencies.
  • Teach sportsmanship and reward/acknowledge players that display good sportsmanship.
  • Adhere to the Vermont Principals Association (VPA) Coaches Code of Ethics
  • Follow the rules of the sport during the progress of the contest.
  • Accept the decisions of contest officials.
  • Avoid offensive gestures or language.
  • Display modesty in victory and graciousness in defeat.
  • Avoid the public criticism of game officials.
  • Provide instruction, training and motivation without put-downs and/or the use of abusive language.
  • Educate and sensitize themselves to cultural differences, gender equity and disability issues.




  • Exhibit sportsmanship
  • Show respect at all times for coaches, opponents and game officials.
  • Accept the decisions of contest officials.
  • Avoid offensive gestures or language.
  • Display humility in victory and graciousness in defeat.
  • Follow the rules of the game.
  • Show respect for public property and equipment.
  • Respect the opposing team. Not only players and cheerleaders but fans as well.
  • Rise and show respect for both teams.
  • Avoid criticism of game officials and sideline coaching which may side track the athletes from their performance.
  • Stay off the playing area.
  • Show respect for public property and equipment.
  • Work cooperatively with contest officials and supervisors in keeping order.
  • Respect the opposing team. Not only players and cheerleaders but fans as well.
  • Rise and show respect for both teams.
  • Know the contest rules and play at proper times.
  • Encourage support for any injured participant.
  • Show respect for opposing team and bands.
  • Lead positive cheers with praise for your team without antagonizing the opponents.
  • Dress in school-approved uniforms.
  • Show respect at all times for officials, opponents and spectators.
  • Show respect for public property and equipment.
  • Accept your role in an unassuming manner.
  • Know the rules, apply them equitably at all times and keep the game moving.
  • Publicly shake hands with coaches of both teams before the contest.
  • Never show emotions or argue with a player, coach, or fan.
  • When watching a game as a spectator, give the officials the same respect you expect to receive when working a contest.
  • Supervise all areas of the facility including parking lots and restrooms.
  • Wear jackets, armbands or badges so they are easily identifiable.
  • Establish/communicate emergency procedures.




Event Security


V.  References

[2] See 16 V.S.A. 1121 for legally acceptable excuses.

[3] See 16 V.S.A. 1122.






Responsible Owner:


Contact(s): email


Approved By: HSD School Board


Revision History:


Approval History:




Current Approval Date: 6-22-2016




Related Polices & Procedures:




Related Job Aids: