Pub. date: 2009 | Online Pub. Date: December 16, 2008 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412963992 | Print ISBN: 9781412906784 | Online ISBN: 9781412963992| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Ethical Issues and School Athletics
Susan P. Mullane
When applied to sports, ethics refers to the principles and values associated with sports participation, including sportsmanship and character development. It is an important issue in K-12 school athletics. Sports participation is generally believed to teach character and leadership skills that can be applied later in life. Teamwork, communication, peaceful resolution to conflict, goal setting, motivation, and the work ethic are seen as some of the positive aspects. In addition, certain values and principles are associated with being engaged in athletic activities, such as respect (for rules and people), integrity, competition, honesty, safety, fairness, trust, and sportsmanship. Since ethics is often thought about as “doing the right thing,” then sport ethics means doing the right thing in a sports setting. Sportsmanship cannot be achieved without ethical behavior. When an ethical dilemma occurs in a sports setting, two or more values, such as wanting to win versus safety or fairness are ...