Athletic Sportsmanship has been a hot topic with the IHSAA and Plymouth High School for the last several years.  This was prompted by several unsportsmanlike acts in several IHSAA contests.  Coaches, players, fans, and school administrators have all been guilty of these acts of aggression and emotion.

In the last four years, the IHSAA has dealt with three major fights between IHSAA teams during a contest.  Back in September, 2013, Fort Wayne South and Indianapolis Tech were playing a varsity football game.  A late hit on the sideline caused a brawl to start between players, coaches, and fans.

Back in February, 2015, a brawl between players occurred when an intentional foul occurred on a breakaway layup in a boy’s basketball game between Hammond High School and Griffith High School.  Both teams were suspsended for the rest of the season.  Neither team was allowed to play in the Boy’s Basketball IHSAA tournament.

In January, 2016, a brawl between players occurred during the Indianapolis Pike/Ben Davis girl’s basketball game.  Once again both teams were suspended for the rest of the season and neither were allowed to play in the IHSAA tournament.

Back in the summer of 2013, the IHSAA initiated a new Sportsmanship Program all 400+ IHSAA members were to participate.  Their goal was to improve sportsmanship among student-athletes, fans, coaches, and school administrators during IHSAA sponsored contests.

Each member school starts the year with 100 points.  Schools earn points through several different methods.  This includes (1) TEAM completes the NFHS Sportsmanship Course (+5 points), (2)Student-Athlete attendance at Fall Area Principal’s meeting (+5 points), (3)Administrator attends IIAAA Conference in March (+5 points), (4)Student-Athlete attendance at IHSAA Student Leadership Conference in June (+5 points), or (5)member schools may accumulate Exemplary Sportsmanship reports from member schools, or contest officials (+1 point).

Schools will lose points if (1) An administrator is ejected (-20 points), (2) A coach is ejected (-20 points), (3) A fan is ejected (-10 points), (4) A student-athlete is ejected (-5 points).

Here are the ratings of schools and how they are classified at the end of a season:

100+ points = EXCELLENT

90-99 points = Acceptable

70-89 points = Needs Improvement

60-69 points = Probation

Less than 60 points = Unacceptable

*Improvement plans must be submitted to the IHSAA if a school finishes in one of the bottom three categories.  The Plymouth High School Athletic Department has been in the Acceptable or above category in three of the four years this program has been in existence.  We finished with 85 points during the 2014-2015 year and we submitted an improvement plan.  During the 2015-2016 and 2016-2017 school years, PHS finished near the top of the list in scoring in the State of Indiana.

The Plymouth High School Athletic Department Sportsmanship Pledge that is read before the start of most varsity contests is:

“We at Plymouth High School want our student-athletes to be CHAMPIONS OF CHARACTER.  We believe all student-athletes should have:  RESPECT   RESPONSIBILITY   INTEGRITY   SPORTSMANSHIP   and   SERVANT LEADERSHIP.  We expect our student-athletes at Plymouth High School to always model each of these character traits in a positive way.”

We love when our student-athletes support all sports at PHS.  We want our fans to support our athletes on the floor, court, and field in a positive way.  We do not want our fans to turn their backs to the opposing team when they are introduced, we do not want them to say negative things about the opposing team, and we do not want our fans to mimic anyone from the opposing team.  WE WANT OUR FANS TO USE THEIR ENERGY TO SUPPORT OUR TEAM!

The following episode from The Andy Griffith Show is a great example of sportsmanship.  Please watch this enjoyable 25 minute episode about a baseball game: