Sunshine State Conference Code of Sportsmanship
The Sunshine State Conference is committed to creating and promoting sportsmanship and ensuring healthy environments for competition. The SSC upholds the values of character building and ethics in sports.
Principles of Sportsmanship:
• Good citizenship
Standards of Conduct - Administrators, coaches, and student-athletes shall conduct themselves in a manner that portrays positive role modeling, and also represent their institutions with the values of sportsmanship. The following standards are set forth for all to abide by before, during, and after an event:
• Exhibit respect and courtesy towards all participants (coaches, student-athletes, and officials) and fans.
• Exercise restraint in both physical and verbal actions toward others.
• Make only positive public comments about other institutions, coaches, and student-athletes.
• Refrain from making public comments critical of officials or the quality of their performance.
Administrators - Sunshine State Conference institution administrators must develop and model the attitude that the treatment of a visiting team and its fans will be consistent with how they would want their teams to be treated. It is their responsibility to effectively communicate the principles of sportsmanship and standards of conduct to all staff, coaches, student-athletes, cheerleaders, and bands. The Director of Athletics or designated representative should be available to assist in controlling the crowd. He or she should also inform any security personnel of potential problems and help them to understand the importance of protecting the visiting team. If an administrator, or other person in charge, becomes aware of an incident in violation of any of these standards, he or she has the obligation to take appropriate action.
• Each host institution should arrange seating to emphasize sportsmanship and lessen the potential for harassment or abuse of the visiting team and its fans.
• Each host institution shall assume responsibility for all fans regardless of where they are seated or standing during competition.
• The host institution shall provide and identify an administrator or game manager at all home contests who shall be responsible for security of the field and bench areas, and on and around, the playing areas. This individual shall be made known to the appropriate members of the visiting team travel party.
• Public address announcers should announce the contest with respect for the visiting team.
• Provide announcements before and during the contest, reminding fans to adhere to good sportsmanship and ethical conduct
Coaches - Coaches have the greatest influence on their teams and must set the tone for sportsmanship and responsible behavior. This includes disciplining student-athletes who have demonstrated any type of disrespect for their opponents, fans, or officials. Coaches shall advocate positive behavior and sportsmanship, and take every opportunity to do so when addressing their team, the media, booster groups and other public forums, or in recruiting.
Student-Athletes - Student-athletes in the Sunshine State Conference are expected to treat each other, opponents, fans, and officials with respect. There should be no tolerance of taunting of opponents, displaying physical or verbal disrespect, or arguing with officials.
Student-athletes must understand, and take great pride in the fact, that they are often the most visible representatives of their institutions. Their behavior is witnessed and often emulated by those younger. SSC student-athletes should honor the responsibilities that go along with the privilege of representing their school in sport. Their actions, on and off the court, shall be of respect, dignity, and class.
Cheerleaders, Bands, Mascots - Their focus must be toward encouragement and support of their team and of respect for the opponents.
Fans - Fans are also expected to act in a manner consistent with the Code of Sportsmanship. Fans should be encouraged to applaud the efforts of both teams. Consistent with the Code of Sportsmanship, fans should also respect the officials and opposing fans, and not demean, taunt, or harass them in any way.
1. Threatening comments to officials, players, coaches or any person at the event are not permitted and are grounds for removal from the facility. A warning may be issued before removal, but not necessary.
2. NO profanity, insulting or personally degrading comments are to be made towards coaches, players, officials, or any person at the event. Continuation of this action, after being warned, is grounds for removal from the facility.
3. Home fans are not permitted directly behind visiting team benches. This section is to be set aside for visiting team fans. Home fans behind visiting team benches are to be removed if comments are directed toward the visiting team and/or its fans.
Implementation of the Code of Sportsmanship - The Conference office and each Sunshine State Conference institution will be responsible for the following:
1. Sportsmanship is addressed during each coaches meeting prior to conference tournaments.
2. Discussion of sportsmanship guidelines at each conference meeting and reviewed on an annual basis with member institutions.
3. Include the following SSC statement reflecting the Code of Sportsmanship in game publications (programs).
“(Name of institution) and the members of the Sunshine State Conference are committed to principles of good sportsmanship. We believe that all student-athletes, coaches, administrators, and spectators should strive to represent the very best spirit and tradition of intercollegiate athletics. We ask you to support the participants and officials in a positive manner.”
4. Review the SSC Code of Sportsmanship with the coaches and student-athletes prior to each sport’s season of competition.
CHEERLEADERS. The cheerleaders should be encouraged by the Game Manager/Crowd Control Officer to help maintain good sportsmanship among the students and others in attendance.
a. The head cheerleader or cheerleading coach should be alert to any unpleasant situation that might develop. Leading the most popular cheer in such a case may help avoid an embarrassing incident.
b. Megaphones must never be turned toward the playing area. If the privilege of using megaphones is abused, the Game Manager/Crowd Control Officer should remove all megaphones.
c. Cheerleaders should never use amplified microphones.
d. A positive approach should be used by cheerleaders if any game official’s decision goes against their team. A show of acceptance by the cheerleaders, a quick popular cheer, and a sportsmanlike attitude can have a remarkable calming effect on the crowd. This is of utmost importance.
BANDS. The only artificial noisemakers allowed in the facility should be the musical instruments used by members of the official band. The band is permitted to play only during the pre-game period, official time-outs and intermission. Under no circumstances should the band play while the game/match is in play.
COACHES. The coaches and their assistant coaches have a tremendous responsibility. Their responsibility is twofold: 1) to prepare their team for the game and 2) to conduct themselves in such a manner during the game to insure good crowd control. Coaches are responsible for the conduct of their players, assistant coaches and all other persons on the bench. Coaches should be aware that athletics contributes to the total educational program. A well-disciplined bench has an impact on students, faculty members and spectators.