proper consideration for fairness, ethics, respect in sports
(Redirected from Fair play)

Sportsmanship is traditional value in sports and competition. It means playing clean and handling both victory and defeat with grace, style, and dignity.[1]

Sportsmanship is generally understood to include

  • playing fair[1]
  • following the rules of the game[1]
  • respecting the judgment of referees and officials[1]
  • treating opponents with respect[1]

The ideal of sportsmanship argues that "it doesn't matter whether you win or lose, but how you play the game".[2]

Sportsmanship can be different depending on the game itself or the culture of the group. For example, in the sport of cricket, a player will sometimes acknowledge that he is out by walking off the field, even though the umpires (game officials) had thought that he was not out. In another example, a tennis player who sees a ball go in but is called out by the linesperson could concede the point or suggest the opponent make a challenge, as was the case with professional tennis player Jack Sock on at least two occasions.[3]

Olympic Games


In the context of the Olympic Games, athletes are expected to do their best.[4] Otherwise, they would go against the Olympic motto of "Faster, Higher, Stronger".[5]

Select examples of good sportsmanship


Select examples of bad sportsmanship


In the London Olympics, some athletes attempted to lose their badminton matches,[9] including



  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4, "Sportsmanship"; retrieved 2012-8-3.
  2. Kendrick, Carleton, "Teaching Good Sportsmanship,"; retrieved 2012-8-3.
  3. "Concepts of Sportsmanship Vary Across Cultures". Big Think. 2015-06-17. Retrieved 2023-12-09.
  4. 4.0 4.1 Oktavinanda, Pramudya A. "The Olympic Scandal: Sportsmanship Issue or Poor Strategy?" Jakarta Globe (Indonesia). August 3, 2012; retrieved 2012-8-3.
  5. Zhu Yuan. "Sportsmanship more important," China Daily (PRC). 3 August 2012; retrieved 2012-8-3.
  6. (SR/Olympics), "Eugenio Moni" Archived 2020-04-17 at the Wayback Machine; retrieved 2012-8-3.
  7. "Lemieux's sportsmanship still recognized," Archived 2011-06-28 at the Wayback Machine Edmonton Journal (Canada). March 13, 2008; retrieved 2012-8-3.
  8. Fencing's Shin Lam offered 'consolation prize' following display of sportsmanship," Independent (UK). 31 July 2012; retrieved 2012-8-3.
  9. Cole, Cam. "Expelled Olympic badminton players win gold for lack of subtlety," National Post (Canada). August 1, 2012; retrieved 2012-8-3.
  10. 10.0 10.1 Leicester, John. "Sportsmanship smashed just like a shuttlecock," Peoria Journal Star (US). August 1, 2012; excerpt, "Between the Olympic ideal and the Olympic reality is a trap that eight badminton players fell into at London 2012. They didn’t cheat. Instead, they tried to win — by deliberately trying to lose"; retrieved 2012-8-3.