Parents, Coaches, Players and Fans, Agape Hoops & USSSA have made a concerted effort to promote sportsmanship at our basketball tournaments to keep the focus on the kids playing and maintaining the integrity of the game by trying to remind adults it’s about the kids, not us. We have found that the majority of issues we have at events have little to do with the players, but more with adults, either coaches or parents. I’ve even had players apologize for the adult’s unsportsmanlike behavior. We try to emphasize Competition with Civility – its basic premise is to treat others like you want to be treated …no matter the circumstances. I know it’s difficult in the heat of a game – you want the best for your kids, you want them to win, you can see when a referee is not all into the game or making questionable calls; I know, I see it at my son’s games as well.
Though we have tried various things over the years in our tournaments to emphasize the sportsmanship message, it seems there are some still not getting it. Thus, Agape Hoops is reaching out to parents, coaches and fans of the game to collaborate on improving the environment of youth basketball at our tournaments. We can’t help what happens at other events, but we are committed to trying to make a positive change and impact in our events. If this means we have to devise a list of teams that are not welcome back because of a coach, parent or fan behavior we will do that across the board with USSSA tournaments in the metro area. If it means having smaller tournaments, we will.
However, in order to bring real change, we need your help! We will begin immediately by implementing a NEW Competition with Civility program with our very next tournament. We will now require: Each coach participating in the tournament to sign a Competition with Civility contract which states that they agree to abide by our sportsmanship guidelines during the tournament and that failure to abide by those guidelines will result in their being told to immediately vacate the premises, with the understanding that no refunds will be provided. Each team to provide one volunteer to be the Competition with Civility “Ambassador” at ALL of the teams’ games. That person will be designated to monitor the behavior of their fans, coach and players. If they see behavior that is disruptive, unsportsmanlike and disrespectful, they will address it with that person and remind them that that type of behavior is not and will not be tolerated. And, that if it continues, they will be told to leave premises.
7/5-7 Summer Tune Up
“We were so impressed with KC Pinoy!
We were up by 2 when they hit a 3 point basket with 8 seconds left. Down by 1, we pushed the ball up the court and hit a game winning 3 at the buzzer. You would have thought that Pinoy hit the game winning shot the way they were jumping up and down celebrating the moment with my kids! I glanced over and observed their coaching staff inspiring such behavior, yet I could tell that this was your normal everyday behavior from such a great group of kids.
After reflecting on such a moment during that evening I turned to Ericka and asked, “would my players and coaches respond to such a devastating loss with such class?” Though I wish I could say yes, the answer is NO! At that moment I realized that such terrific sportsmanship should be rewarded. I had planned to give that trophy to Pinoy if we won the tournament. Wouldn’t you know that without being asked, every player/coach/parent hung around 2 hours to watch and support my Blue Devils! The moment I looked over after the game and saw them, that championship trophy was destined to go to the champions of sportsmanship!
Some might say after beating such a hard working team and winning a tough tournament that I’m a good coach. I’d respond by saying that after being outcoached in the game of life this past weekend, I’ll certainly be a willing student as to how this game is supposed to be played, ESPECIALLY, when team Pinoy is in attendance!” -Louis Ward – KC Blue Devils
“Team KC Pinoy’s coaches, players and parents were really surprised and impressed with the Team KC Blue Devils for their AAA class act for acknowledging my young team. We were so moved with admiration to the way their coach handed our team their deserving trophy. I commend this act of encouragement and motivation from a great team and a great coach to a young team like us. Please extend our congratulations to their team again and our deepest gratitude for this unforgettable act of TRUE SPORTSMANSHIP… Thanks also to you guys for a great tournament…” -Jojo Balino – KC Pinoy
Pictured: KC Pinoy holding the Championship trophy given to them by the Tournament Champion KC Blue Devils