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How Officials Can Honor The Game Before Competition

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Honoring the Game is PCA’s definition of good sportsmanship. What can officials do to honor the game before the competition begins?

1.) Talk with the coaches. If it’s appropriate in the league you officiate, taking this initiative pre-competition starts you off on a positive foot with coaches.

2. Talk with the team captains. You can start by reaching out to shake hands with the captains and introducing yourself. This simple action models the kind of respect you’re going to give the players, and the type of respect you expect back from them. Next, give the captains a chance to ask any questions they might have. Finally, let the players know what you expect to see from them during the competition. You might set the ground rules for how they can approach you after the game begins.

3. Humanize yourself as an official. Some coaches take time before the competition to introduce the officials to the parents and fans. If the fans see you as a person, with a name and experiences they can relate to, they are more likely to behave reasonably during the competition. If the coach can’t or won’t make time, “humanize” yourself with the fans before the competition if appropriate.

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