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.

We are looking forward to our 2014 National Sportsmanship Day, scheduled for March 4, 2014.

On Tuesday, March 3, National Sportsmanship Day was celebrated in schools throughout the United States and abroad.

As always, there were many great examples of coaches, administrators, parents and volunteers taking the lead in the celebration of National Sportsmanship Day in their respective communities. Here are three highlights;

NSD Partnership in Scranton, Pennsylvania
Under the able direction of Professor Jack O'Malley of the University of Scranton and Debbie Pepsin, distinguished athletic director and elementary school teacher at Old Forge Elementary School, the Scranton region hosted a major celebration of National Sportsmanship Day that extended over a period of three days.

The National Sportsmanship Day Scranton Partnership began in 2008 when, with the great help of Professor O'Malley, National Sportsmanship Day activity was planned and administered throughout the Scranton community. The partnership has involved Professor O'Malley, Debbie Pepsin, and others, helping the Institute, through the celebration of National Sportsmanship Day, spread the word of sport as a vehicle of non-violence and fair play in life.

North Hills High School, A Model Sportsmanship School
North Hills High School, located in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania is one of the leading sportsmanship schools in the nation. Once again, North Hills was a model school on National Sportsmanship Day.

NSD in Ghana
Finally, a special thanks to Emmanuel Annan. Emmanuel is a graduate of the Institute's 1993 World Scholar Athlete Games. For the last 20 years, Emmanuel has administered a magnificent National Sportsmanship Day program in his home country of Ghana. Emmanuel is one of many, many graduates of the Scholar-Athlete Games who have committed to the celebration of National Sportsmanship Day.

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