Sportsmanship : prevailing opinion of tomorrow's athletic leaders

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Heckaman, Troy J.
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Thesis (M.A.)
School of Physical Education
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The purpose of this study was to examine the existing opinion of future Indiana sport leaders of the precepts of "sportsmanship" and "fair play". This study also attempted to isolate key aspects of sportsmanship for possible use in future educational programs. Participants (N=200) for this study were chosen from students currently enrolled in an "athletic" related degree program at an Indiana college or university and chosen by non-probability means.Research findings revealed that almost all of the respondents considered themselves to be "good" sports. Ninety-one percent of which were actively associated with athletics during the course of this study. The participants reported on-field behavior, parents, and maturity level as the three primary influences on athletes' sportsmanship. Respondents consistently viewed "on field" behavior more important than their "off field" antics when issues of sportsmanship were considered. This research attempted to identify specific activities associated with positive (good) and negative (poor) sportsmanship. Data collected revealed athletic activities (or sports) considered as "non contact" was identified most often as sports with athletes who exhibited "good" sportsmanship most consistently. This research also concludes that several factors are key in affecting one's level of sportsmanship, and that the development of sportsmanship is a shared responsibility, which no one factor may completely influence.