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How Officials Can Honor The Game During Competition

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Honoring the Game is PCA’s definition of good sportsmanship. We live in a win-at-all-cost culture, where people do not always Honor the Game. Officials face the challenge of being the ones to uphold a positive, safe sports environment. They are the one group that is regularly trained in how to handle bad behavior by coaches, fans and student-athletes, so PCA offers these tips for officials:

1. Nip problems in the bud. Address violations of Honoring the Game culture as soon as you see them.

2. Remember the rule of “First 15 Contacts” The first part of the game is the learning phase for players, coaches and officials. People will evaluate what you call or don’t call in the early stages of the game and adjust their tactics accordingly.

3. Control the sidelines. When possible, work with the coaches to control the sidelines. Coaches should let unruly fans know directly of their potential negative impact on the competition.

4. Answer questions calmly. Coaches and athletes may have seen things differently than you, but if you explain your point of view calmly, they know why you made the call you did.

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