Honorable and decent athletes demonstrate through their behavior on and off the field that they believe in fairness, integrity, responsibility, and respect. Sportsmanship encourages healthy competition, achievement, integrity, and character. It contributes to a community of faith, respect and trust between individual athletes, teams, supporters, and countries. The goal in sportsmanship is to pursue victory through effort, superior strength, and excellence.

By contrast, gamesmanship is built on beliefs that winning is everything, rules are there to be bent, it's only cheating if you get caught, it’s okay to fake injury, and the ends always justify the means.

Athletes need to demonstrate through their behavior in training, in competition, and in life that they understand the difference between sportsmanship and gamesmanship, and they believe in ethical standards.

Ethics Tips
1 Expect to be judged by what you do and how well you do it.
2 Play fairly using only tactics that are in accord with the spirit of your sport.
3 Stick to the rules and regulations of your sport and avoid gamesmanship.
4 Show loyalty to your team mates, sport, community, society, and family.
5 Don’t use performance enhancing drugs to increase your muscle strength.
6 Don't cheat or fake injury.

What experts say

I prefer to win titles with the team before individual prizes or outscoring everyone. I'm more concerned with being a good person than being the best footballer in the world.

Lionel Messi Football Player

The moral virtues that are often referred to under the umbrella of sporting behavior are revealed in acts of fair play. Such virtues as magnanimity, fairness, politeness, respect for rules, and cooperation are the qualities of character displayed and developed by those who play well.

Mike McNamee Sports Scientist

Do the SPQ20 and find out where you are on ethics