Grant Hill kicks off National Sportsmanship Day.
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"One man practicing good sportsmanship is far better than fifty others preaching it." - Knute Rockne

National Sportsmanship Day

By engaging athletes and other community members in thoughtful discussions and well planned activities about the concepts of sportsmanship and ethical conduct, National Sportsmanship Day is enabling sports to reach its full potential as a positive force in society.

National Sportsmanship Day was founded by the Institute for International Sport in 1991. The program has several important objectives:

  1. To promote ethics, honesty, and fair play in athletics and society through education and sport.
  2. To designate a day each year during which student-athletes, coaches, administrators and parents engage in thoughtful and reasoned discussion about the role of sportsmanship.
  3. To provide participating schools, clubs, and athletic organizations a template to successfully celebrate the day with sportsmanship themed activities, discussion topics, etc.
  4. To make participation in National Sportsmanship Day an anchor event that fosters good sportsmanship on a year-round basis.

The Institute for International Sport celebrated the 20th Anniversary of National Sportsmanship Day in 2011.  In commemoration of this milestone, the Institute honored 20 living Americans, 20 deceased Americans and 20 American organizations/initiatives that have made significant contributions to the practice of fair play.

National Sportsmanship Day and Non-Violence

As National Sportsmanship Day continues to be celebrated nationwide, the issues surrounding fair play continue to evolve.  National Sportsmanship Day will continue to focusing on how to help coaches and parents use sports as a medium to promote self-control and non-violence.

In his book, The Encyclopedia of Sports Parenting, Dan Doyle describes this quality as "competitive self-restraint". Dan Doyle is now working on The Master Coach Manual, a manual in which coaches will be shown exactly how the sports experience can lead to better self-control and a long-term commitment to non-violence.

A key goal of the Institute for International Sport is to cull ideas on the issue of non-violence in sport. In November 2013, the Institute for International Sport made a presentation at the Love and Forgiveness in Sports Symposium in Orlando, Florida, administered by the Institute for International Sport, the Fetzer Institute and the DeVos Sports Business Management Graduate Program at the University of Central Florida. The Institute's presentation included the work that Dan Doyle is doing on an extensive curriculum for sportsmanship and non-violence.  Information on the curriculum will be posted on the Institute's website in the near future.

28th Annual National Sportsmanship Day scheduled for March 3, 2015

A Free Book to U.S. Schools
Features in 2015 include U.S. schools being afforded the opportunity to receive a free copy of the award winning, The Encyclopedia of Sports Parenting. The book contains a full section on sportsmanship practices and ideas of how to celebrate National Sportsmanship Day. The Encyclopedia of Sports Parenting received both the ForeWord Book Award and the Independent Publisher award. For a free copy email us at

Competitive Self-Restraint
This phrase, coined in The Encyclopedia of Sports Parenting, means to compete hard, but within the rules. There are many wonderful opportunities for discussion with student-athletes and coaches about this topic. Bring this up on National Sportsmanship Day.

A Special Focus on Africa
Recently, the Institute for International Sport announced the creation of the African Scholar-Athlete Games, which will be held in Namibia in August 2015. A central focus of the African Scholar-Athlete Games, which will likely involve all 54 African countries, will be for each participating country to adopt National Sportsmanship Day. National Sportsmanship Day is already celebrated in a number of African countries such as Ghana, where Emmanuel Annan (1993 World Scholar-Athlete Games) has served as Ghana’s National Sportsmanship Day Coordinator for the last 24 years.

The Institute thanks everyone who have made National Sportsmanship Day such a great success.