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How to follow the rules of sportsmanship

It's not whether you win or lose, it's how you play the game. Everyone wants to be a winner, but not everyone wins. Sometimes we lose, and there is a lesson to be learned in being a good sport. Whether you win or lose, you need to be able to handle yourself in the proper way. If you are a good sport when playing games, you are likely a good sport in life. Following are a few pointers in sportsmanship.

On the field or court:

• Be courteous to other players.

• Know your game's rules and follow them.

• Don't cheat - be a fair player and play your best.

• Compliment the winners and shake hands with them.

• Be polite to your coaches and referees.

• Never blame or criticize other team members.

• Have a good attitude - be positive.

When in the locker room, remember to control your behavior. Your could lose the respect of your coach and teammates if you lose your temper. Behind closed doors:

• Forgo inappropriate language.

• Don't shout.

• Don't throw things.

• Don't make rude gestures.

• Don't snap towels or play rough with your teammates. Pranks and horseplay are not always funny.

• Don't leave the hot water running in the shower.

• Make sure your shoes and equipment are clean and in good condition. Dry them properly to prevent odors and fungus. Hang up your wet towels and clothes - don't throw them for someone else to pick up.

• Keep the locker room clean.

• Protect and secure your belongings.

• Don't spit - it's considered rude and low class.

Rules for good behavior also apply to fans. When in the stands:

• Don't taunt or boo players.

• Make sure you don't block someone's view of the game. If the person behind you asks you to sit down, have a seat.

• Cheer and encourage when appropriate.

Mimi Raghian is a certified etiquette and image consultant at the Northern California School of Etiquette. For more information, call 559-9960 or visit www.NorcalEtiquette.com.

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