In an ongoing effort to promote sportsmanship and citizenship among member schools and their communities, the WIAA and Gesa Credit Union proudly present Just Play Fair! This citizenship program drives the WIAA's sportsmanship mission and encourages members schools to implement a year-round program supported by participation from athletic directors, coaches, parents student-participants that aligns with the program criteria found below.

Use the following Just Play Fair! program criteria to develop the framework for your school's sportsmanship plan:
  • Establish of a sportsmanship committee to coordinate the planning and implementation of your program
  • Adoption of a sportsmanship resolution or statement of beliefs by your school board
  • Develop a code of conduct, written sportsmanship plan, and citizenship plan for players, coaches, spectators, cheerleaders, and bands

In addition, participating schools are encouraged to use the following methods to promote your sportsmanship program:

  • Create peer assistance at middle level and elementary schools
  • Include Just Play Fair! messaging in event programs
  • Develop sportsmanship and citizenship game announcements
  • Develop a sportsmanship recognition program
  • Create a sportsmanship handbook for players and coaches
  • Participate in league sportsmanship activities
  • Conduct in-school programs emphasizing sportsmanship
  • Invite speakers to emphasize sportsmanship
  • Produce sportsmanship posters, banners, or social media content
  • Create a sportsmanship link with other sports groups or colleges in the community


Throughout the school year, make sportsmanship and citizenship a priority in the following ways:

  • Discuss the value of sportsmanship with coaches and students prior to the start of each season
  • Create a committee to develop sportsmanship efforts in your school
  • Talk with your event security staff and public address announcers about their roles during contests
  • Distribute posters, banners, and social media content promoting sportsmanship
  • Plan a competition between student clubs that promotes sportsmanship
  • Evaluate sportsmanship efforts at the conclusion of each season
  • Conduct a year-end sportsmanship meeting to evaluate the efforts made in the past year and set the goals for the next year



A coach's role is to educate students through participation in interscholastic competition. The participant's welfare should be treated with the highest priority at all times.

Coaches shall...

  • Be aware of their tremendous influence in the education of the student-participant and never place the value of winning above the value of character.
  • Consistently uphold the honor and dignity of the profession and strive to set an example of the highest ethical and moral standards.
  • Be thoroughly acquainted with the rules and responsible for their interpretation to team members.
  • Actively use their influence to encourage sportsmanship among their team members and supporters.
  • Unwaveringly support and respect officials.
  • Make an effort to meet with opposing coaches before each contest to exchange friendly greetings and set a positive tone for the event.


Student-Participants shall...

  • Respect the rights and beliefs of others and treat others with courtesy and consideration.
  • Be fully responsible for their own conduct and the consequences of their actions.
  • Respect the property of others.
  • Obey the rules of their school and the laws of their community, state, and country.
  • Show respect to those who are responsible for enforcing the rules.


  • Use the Just Play Fair! theme to create a one-week promotion focusing on sportsmanship
  • Have the school board develop a policy stressing that attendance at an athletic event is a privilege and that inappropriate behavior by any party will be dealt with appropriately
  • Encourage the fine arts advisors to incorporate good sportsmanship themes into their competitions
  • Create banners/posters that welcome opponents to your school
  • Create a sportsmanship report card for visitors to fill out and return after contests
  • If members of your high school community felt like they were treated particularly well while visiting another school for an event, encourage them to write a letter to the principal or athletic director of that school
  • Have your public address announcer read a pregame or time out statement encouraging sportsmanship and proper respect for the game
  • If a team you played during the season advances to the state tournament, have your coaching staff send a good luck message before the event
  • Report good sportsmanship when displayed by your opponents


  • Show respect for opponents, public property, and equipment at all times
  • Accept the decisions of game officials
  • Avoid offensive gestures or language
  • Display modesty in victory and graciousness in defeat


  • Follow the rules of the contest at all times
  • Accept the decisions of the contest officials and avoid public criticism of game officials/participants
  • Avoid offensive gestures or language
  • Display modesty in victory and graciousness in defeat


  • Accept your role in an unassuming manner
  • Maintain confidence and poise by controlling the contest from start to finish
  • Thoroughly know the rules of the game and abide by the Code of Ethics
  • Publicly shake hands with coaches and/or both teams before the contest
  • Never exhibit emotions or argue with participants and coaches when enforcing rules


  • Adopt policies/programs that promote the ideals of good sportsmanship, ethics, and integrity
  • Serve as a positive role model and support participants, coaches, school administrators, and fans who display good sportsmanship
  • Appoint adult supervisors for each contest (one supervisor per each 150 spectators); supervisors will be stationed in highly visible areas throughout the school's fan sections, responsible for the conduct of spectators in their areas, and assist and inform security personnel regarding acts of misconduct


  • Take part in cheers and applaud good performances
  • Work cooperatively with contest officials and supervisors in keeping order
  • Refrain from making negative comments about officials, coaches, or participants
  • Stay off of the playing area at all times


  • Know the contest rules and cheer at proper times
  • Lead positive cheers that support and uplift your team
  • Encourage support for any injured participant
  • Show respect for opposing cheerleaders


  • Choose appropriate music and time for performing
  • Dress in school-approved uniforms
  • Show respect at all times for officials, opponents, spectators, public property, and equipment
  • Avoid offensive gestures or language


  • Report acts of sportsmanlike behavior without giving undue publicity to unsportsmanlike conduct
  • Refrain from making negative comments about participants, coaches, or contest officials
  • Recognize efforts of all who participate in the contest
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