Sports is a game that can unite people in an instant and leave them torn apart in the blink of an eye. There’s no question which side the law books fall on, but some rules have made their way into the limelight more than others. In this blog post, we examine 10 of those “unwritten” laws, and give our thoughts on what you should be doing or avoiding to stay like ​​word crush athletics on the right side of these unspoken codes.

The Laws:

1) You don’t screw your teammates over for personal gain – 

This rule has been drilled into our heads since we started playing games like baseball, hockey, soccer, etc. You do not create a false distraction or report to the refs because you want them to call your opponent for something that they didn’t do. You don’t make up calls, or pretend that they saw things differently than they really did. Whether it was intentional or not, the point remains that you did it, and most likely have hurt the team in some way along with your new friend, the penalty box.

2) Having fun trump’s winning (at least in sports) – 

I’ve been in many situations where we’d just rather shoot around than play a game of 17 on 11, but I also know there are times when playing hard and playing fair makes for a better game. Some coaches encourage everyone to play the game in a way that’ll make them believe they won, while others are more inclined to show their players that they have fun while playing a game at their high level of intensity. 

3) You don’t go after people who weren’t involved in the call – 

The saying goes “Don’t hurt the messenger”, but we all know that for many situations there are no messengers, only people being victimized. Whether it was intentional or not, you took advantage of another player who was unaware of any perceived wrongdoing. This is about making sure your players aren’t responsible for any offense by someone else.

4) You don’t cheat – 

There’s always going to be a way to gain an unfair advantage on your opponent, and it usually isn’t because you’re trying. Some of the most trusted basketball players have been caught using the hack-a-Shaq technique on their opponents while they’re shooting a free throw. We’ve all seen our favorite player in the NBA pick up a loose ball and then tip it in for an easy basket, or seen them shoot a three-pointer when they are clearly out of harm’s way. We’ve all heard players complain about seeing an opposing player get away with fouling them on purpose, but we rarely hear coaches admit that it happens to their team. In any case, under no circumstances should you take the lead or allow your team to get an advantage by cheating.

5) You don’t blame the refs if they make a bad call – 

No matter what the situation, if a referee makes a bad call, you should not question their judgment and yell at them, but instead accept that they have made a mistake and decide whether to continue playing or accept another chance to play. Whatever else is happening on the court at that moment has no bearing on how you react. 

6) Trashing your opponents’ gym locker isn’t cool – 

I can remember being introduced to this by my former favorite player after we lost to his team in a tournament for high school sports. I didn’t realize until years later that he had just been going after all the people on our team in a very vindictive way. Clearly, some of his teammates were associated with the other team at school, and going after their lockers was giving him an opportunity to take jabs at them. When you see something like this, it’s important to know that it’s not your place to make fun of someone, or hurt their feelings. Joking around isn’t as serious as crossing the line into malicious behavior.

7) You don’t check out equipment during a game – 

I remember times when my parents would tell me to sit up straight and focus on the game, but they also warned me not to touch any of the other team’s stuff. If you even suspect that someone has tampered with their equipment in an attempt to get a better chance at winning, you’re going to be called for it by the ref. I remember one game where my dad actually walked up on his opponent’s coach in the hallway after a hard fought win, and told him that he shouldn’t have tried to steal his team’s ball and equipment. I’m sure the coach was embarrassed, but he was also a grown adult and an adult has to learn that you don’t cheat in sports unless you’re prepared to accept the consequences.

8) You don’t use profanity when talking to someone – 

This is one of those unwritten codes that people seem to ignore all the time. There are times when it’s problematic to speak directly with your opponent or their coach, but in order for sportsmanship to remain intact, you need to respect your opponents and show them a level of respect by minding your language. Even if they’ve done something questionable or wrong, they’re still a human being and deserve not be treated like trash.

9) You don’t intimidate or harass your opponents – 

There are times when you can become focused on the competition and your instincts take over, but in order to show that you respect your opponents, it’s important that you do not let yourself break the barriers of good sportsmanship. We’ve all had adversarial relationships with our coaches, but they are still our coaches and show them respect regardless of how they’ve been treating you.

10) You don’t forget to play your best – 

Regardless of how great your team is as a whole, or how well they’re able to communicate with each other, it’s important to remember this code because playing at 100% is vital for success.


Being a good sport doesn’t mean you have to fall into the trap of ‘Win at all costs’ mentality, but being a good sport does mean that you don’t mistreat your opponents, and you do everything in your power to play at a high level of intensity. In the end, winning is not about how you treat people or how hard you play. It’s about having fun and leading by example. If we all start acting like these 10 rules and take them seriously, we’ll be rewarded with more positive sportsmanship and less heckling on the court.

There are many labels that could be given to describe me, but one thing’s for certain: I am an entrepreneur with passion. Whether it's building websites and social media campaigns for new businesses or traveling the world on business trips - being entrepreneurs means constantly looking at yourself in a different light so as not get bored of your own success!


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