Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Sportsmanship And The Rules

When a sport relies on the participants to oversee its rules while the game is played, the success of the sport places a significant responsibility on the player. Everyone in the game must contribute, everyone is vested, everyone has ownership. On this level, it is interesting to note how much sailing and golf have in common:

SAILING: “Competitors in the sport of sailing are governed by a body of rules that they are expected to follow and enforce. A fundamental principle of sportsmanship is that when competitors break a rule they will promptly take a penalty, which may be to retire.” - Basic Principle, Racing Rules of Sailing

GOLF: “Unlike many sports, golf is played, for the most part, without the supervision of a referee or umpire. The game relies on the integrity of the individual to show consideration for other players and to abide by the Rules. All players should conduct themselves in a disciplined manner, demonstrating courtesy and sportsmanship at all times, irrespective of how competitive they may be. This is the spirit of the game of golf.” - Golf Etiquette 101, U.S. Golf Assn.

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At 7:57 AM, Blogger Doc Häagen-Dazs said...

Yes! Good and important point!

As in tennis, competitors are expected to call their own lines. The big difference is that in yacht racing, the safety of all competitors is at stake, ultimately.

At 7:02 PM, Blogger JSA Office said...

Here is a classic sportsmanship story that I heard originally from an Opti dad who played golf. Early in Bobby Jones' amateur career, he was in the final playoff of the 1925 U.S. Open. During the match as he was setting up to play his shot, his iron caused a slight movement of the ball. He immediately turned to the marshals and called a penalty on himself. The marshals discussed among themselves and decided that neither they nor anyone else had witnessed any incident, so the decision was left to Jones. Bobby Jones called the two-stroke penalty on himself, not knowing that he would lose the tournament by one stroke. When he was praised for his gesture, Jones replied, "You may as well praise a man for not robbing a bank." The USGA's sportsmanship award is named the Bob Jones Award in his honor.


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