Rule 52: Keep it positive, sports fans

?Win with character and lose with dignity,? summarizes the definition of sportsmanship outlined in Rule 52 of the Kansas State High School Activities Association.

During a recent assembly, Robert Rempel, Hillsboro High School activities director, talked about Rule 52 and what it means to everyone attending sporting events or other activities.

?Some people question why they could say something negative in high school when they were there, but a lot of things in high school were said that shouldn?t have been said,? Rempel told about 100 parents and students Friday.

According to KSHSAA Rule 52, he said, no one is supposed to do anything negative toward an official, opponent or the fans.

?I am not making up these rules, but when I have to jump on you for not following them? remember those aren?t my rules, they are made way above me,? he said.

Whether it?s in Hillsboro, Peabody, Marion or another school district in the county or state, everyone must exhibit positive behavior at school events or there are consequences.

Failure to adhere to KSHSAA rules may result in the form of a reprimand, probation or suspension of the school and/or individual depending on the degree of the violation, according to Rule 52 state guidelines.

Instead of negative behavior, though, Rempel encourages fans to be courteous and energetic.

?No one likes to hear someone talk about their son or daughter in a bad way,? he said. ?You might be sitting right beside the parents, or in front of them, and it hurts,? he said. ?Would you like your child talked about??

What is sportsmanship?

The KSHSAA, through its member schools, defines sportsmanship as those qualities of behavior which are characterized by generosity and genuine concern for others.

Rule 52 further defines sportsmanship as a general way of thinking and behaving. The following sportsmanship policy items include:

? being courteous to all (participants, coaches, officials, staff and fans).

? knowing the rules, abide by and respect an official?s decisions.

? winning with character and losing with dignity.

? displaying appreciation for good performance regardless of the team.

? exercising self-control and reflect positively upon yourself, team and school.

? permitting positive sportsman-like behavior to reflect on your school or its activities.

Enjoying the events

The excitement of high school activities and athletics can be a fun time for players and fans, but it can also create challenges, which is why the state?s activities association created a rule for good citizenship and sportsmanship.

?We have a great coaching staff this year,? Rempel said, ?and I encourage you to visit with them if you have questions.?

He also wanted to caution parents to remember not to complain around their student because their child will take that and carry that on.?

?We don?t want that,? he said. ?So around the supper table, if your kid doesn?t like the way something is being done, don?t jump in and join with them.?

Instead, Rempel said he suggests that if a parent has problems, they need to talk to the coach or him and get it straightened out.

?Let?s not be bashing the system when you may not know what is completely going on,? he said.

The KSHSAA is the organization which oversees interscholastic competition in the state of Kansas at the high school level, according to information about the association.

It oversees both athletic and non-athletic competition, and sponsors championships in several sports and activities.

For more information about KSHSAA, call 785-273-5329 or visit:

Volunteers sought

For those who have a talent for books, stats, gate workers or any other volunteer position during activities, Rempel said their help is needed.

?I already know of a few that do (volunteer),? he said.

With the season beginning to go full bore in football, tennis, cross country and other activities, he said it isn?t too soon to consider volunteering.

Officials are encouraging parents and fans to come out and enjoy what the school has to offer.

?I am looking forward to a good season,? Rempel said.

School calendar

Max Heinrich, HHS principal, said keeping up on what is happening on the school calender is a tough job.

?The calendar is living,? he said, ?it changes daily, so if you don?t have that email set up so you get an automatic update you might want to figure that out.?

Heinrich said the school does have a printed calendar with scheduled events, but by the next day events could be added or changed almost immediately.

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