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Arkansas Activities Association - Student Advisory Board's Message about Sportsmanship

Posted Date: 07/30/2019

Arkansas Activities Association - Student Advisory Board's Message about Sportsmanship

Students from our state and across our country are frankly fed up with the lack of sportsmanship and civility at their interscholastic events. Harassment and assaults of officials, brawls between adults, coaches inciting crowds with antics clearly designed to elicit a response, fans booing, heckling, berating opponents, and similar issues have become too common in our secondary school events.

It’s to the point that some states have enacted legislation regarding sportsmanship issues.

Please read and share the copy of the speech at the governing body meeting by two members of the Big Red Stores AAA Student Advisory Council.


“It’s about all kids, not just the ones on your team.”



Good afternoon, I’m Adam Martin and I play football and basketball at Heber Springs High School.


I’m Emilee Webb and I am a cheerleader at Poyen High School.


We would like to thank you all for giving us the opportunity to speak on behalf of the AAA Student Advisory Council. Over the course of our past scholastic careers, some of our fondest memories, greatest lessons learned, and strongest relationships have come from AAA sanctioned activities. We believe that these activities can and do help kids do better in the classroom and in the real world.


As students, we have seen firsthand how these activities can bring out the best and sometimes the worst in players, coaches, and fans. While sports and activities teach character, encourage teamwork, and promote leadership; we have begun to see that sometimes the bad sportsmanship can outweigh the benefits of sports. It is our belief that all behavior by players, fans, and coaches fall under the local administration. Before the start of a school year or season, the local administration should clearly state what kind of behavior will and will not be tolerated at AAA activities. The punishments that will be enforced if people fail to meet this standard should also be clearly stated before any school year or season. Administrators must hold all coaches, players, and fans accountable, and to the same standard.


In a recent survey it was concluded that the number one reason officials quit is because of the behavior of adults. We encourage parents and other fans to support and encourage the athletes. That is what makes High School athletics so great. It can bring people of all ages together to be a part of something bigger than themselves. It gives them a sense of belonging. It brings people together. There does come a point where a line needs to be drawn.


Small incidents left unchecked lead to large incidents. It needs to be very clear the behavior that will and will not be tolerated at all AAA activities. Even the smallest of incidents must have some sort of consequences. Like we mentioned earlier, we encourage fans to come support their team. This is what makes High School sports so great. We just ask that the local administration will clearly state what fans, coaches, and players can and cannot do. Everyone having good sportsmanship and good attitudes will make all sports and activities more enjoyable for everyone, especially the players.


Thank you for allowing us to come before all of you today. It has been our pleasure. Please keep all of this in mind as you vote on the upcoming rules and regulations.