Where Men Can Become Better Gentlemen


Participant Sportsmanship


If you receive applause, do not forget to acknowledge it – a simple hand in the air, a bow, a silent “thank you” etc. There is a relatively new phenomenon, which has begun to creep into the world of sport, where the sportsperson returns the applause of the spectators. We believe this is perfectly acceptable as it acknowledges the thanks the participant has for them – being loyal fans, providing psychological support, their patience, people choosing to give up their precious time to watch, traveling a distance to be there etc.


Never display irritation, annoyance, tantrums, rancur, anger or sulk – it is a game - if you can’t do this, you should not participate in the sport. You are an advocate of your sport (by default of your participation) and it is therefore your responsibility to set a good example for other participants and spectators to follow. Do not lower your standards of good behavior and retaliate to verbal and/or physical abuse that may be delivered by opponents, their management or spectators. This is easier to maintain while winning, the true test is when losing – obnoxious behavior is often remembered long after the event.


All sporting occasions you participant in must be finished, unless incapacitated by injury. You have undertaken the task and you have the responsibility to complete your obligations – you do not give up and quit, even if you are being outclassed by others. Success is doing your best, even in trying circumstances.


Treat all equipment you may use in your sport with care and respect – someone has had to work to pay for it. If you have personal items of equipment ensure you carry out the correct level of maintenance to keep it in full functioning order. If you have paid for the equipment yourself, the above rules still apply – someone elsewhere in this world may not be able to afford such equipment, show your gratitude for the privilege you have been bestowed. This is particularly relevant to any outbursts of temper/anger when things do not seem to be going your way!


If participating against female opponents, and you clearly have greater strength to employ in the sport, do not take unfair advantage of this. Conversely, don't be intimidated by better (or stronger) female players; learn from them as you would from males (see Levels below), have fun & enjoy the game!


A win which has been gained unfairly, is a hollow victory and provides no satisfaction – play the game, by the rules, and win fairly. Do not cheat or play dirty to win.

"Hit the line hard; don’t foul and don’t shirk, but hit the line hard". – Theodore Roosevelt.


If you are a beginner in a particular sport, do not ask advanced players to compete with you (or partner you) – it is unfair on them. However, should they ask you accept with humility and feel privileged – let them know your shortcomings and ask them to help you with your game.


You may be the best in your chosen sporting field but let your actions and results speak for themselves. You have no need to blow your own trumpet or brag about your past successes – all this does is show poor character. Also do not forget, even individual sports often require the help and support of fellow competitors, management, friends and family so remember all that has been done to help you.

If you have difficulty in being modest, make an effort to try a new sport at least once a year. Encountering the need for new skills and practice to gain levels of good ability should help to keep you humble.


Officials are there to ensure the rules are applied to the sport you are playing. They are human and thus will make mistakes, sometimes ruling in your favor and sometimes against. Never remonstrate or be abusive to officials, regardless of the circumstances, always respond on the basis they are correct – giving them the respect they are due i.e. the responsible role they perform. It is OK to contest a ruling but do so calmly and with dignity and respect. At the end of the day the simple adage: “The umpire is always right” is the final word. Co-operate with officials, as requested by them.


Ensure you turn up at the right place, at the right time with all the relevant equipment that is required. No one likes to be kept waiting (and you may be penalised for doing so) and no one likes to keep lending their things to other people who are not prepared. It shows a casual and careless approach to your endeavors and ultimately disrespect.


Welcome/thank/congratulate other competitors, officials and opposing management teams (by shaking hands and making positive comments) regardless of the outcome. A simple but earnest “well played” or “good game” to your opponent(s) after a sporting match (and sometimes during) is the sign of a true sporting Gentleman.

Follow the right instruction/direction given by officials and members of your management team. Never argue with your management team – even if you believe you are right – if this proves to be the case time and time again the management team will eventually be dropped/replaced. In extreme circumstances you can always vote with your feet and leave, however remember you are part of a team, and like a marriage it can be for better or for worse. It takes a strong person of character to stand firm next to his team mates in trying times.


Always play by the rules of the sport. You have chosen this sport; you therefore agree to abide by the rules of the sport you are participating in. You cannot pick and choose which rules you do or do not follow. Make sure you know the rules so that you can play by them – do not worry about others and what they do or don’t do (there will always be cheaters) – you are only responsible for yourself. Playing by the rules ensures you are playing fair and can give a just competition.


Remember winning or losing does not have the same importance as life or death. It is a game, and only a game; and deserves to be treated as such. Treat it seriously, as you would any endeavor that you may undertake in life, but remember not to take yourself too seriously!

"Auto racing, bull fighting, and mountain climbing are the only real sports…all others are games". – Ernest. M. Hemingway.

Team Work

If you participate in team sports, remember the adage: There is no “I” in team. Ensure you do not take over a game, trying to win singlehandedly, share the limelight, share the game and share the outcome – making it fun for everyone (even if they have a lower level of ability than you).

Encourage team mates, especially when they make mistakes, as this is when they need it the most and can bring them back to a positive state of mind. No one is perfect and that includes us all. In general have an enthusiastic spirit and share it with your team and your supporters/facilitators. A gentleman knows how to stay positive, even in the most adverse conditions.


Ensure your training sessions are performed and participated in with the same approach as a sporting occasion. This ensures you are developing to your best potential, are not a “slacker” and are giving your commitment to success. Success is the achievement of your goals through practice.

"You win not by chance, but by preparation". – Roger Maris.

Your Best

Always do the best you can, exerting maximum effort, at each and every sporting occasion. Prepare yourself physically, mentally and emotionally. In this way, you know you have done the very best and thus can not be denigrated for your performance. Do not make excuses for any poor performances you may give. Success is not winning, but having done your very best.

"Bigger than the sadness of not having won, is the shame of not having fought". - Rui Barbosa.

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