To support and grow the underlying principles of sportsmanship, the Oregon Girls Lacrosse Association (OGLA) has a duty to promote sportsmanship and character by teaching, advocating, modeling and enforcing these principles while preserving the integrity of the game. One way to achieve this goal is through the TEAM sportsmanship program for all 5th/ 6th and 7th/8th grade athletes. T E A M stands for the four key pillars on which good sportsmanship is built: (T) Teamwork, (E) Effort, (A) Attitude and (M) Mental toughness.
What: Each coach or team representative will receive a bag of TEAM Sportsmanship pins (gold stars), that are intended to last the entire season. For each game, one player on the opposing team will be selected to receive a TEAM Sportsmanship pin for showing exemplary sportsmanship traits during that game. Under extraordinary circumstances, two players may be awarded pins.
How: During practices, coaches should take a few minutes to mention and reinforce the importance of sportsmanship and review the TEAM principles.
After each game, coaches will review the principles and what the TEAM acronym stands for and select a player on the opposing team that deserves the pin for that game.
Sometimes it helps to provide players examples (when someone took a bad fall, got up and continued to play hard (mental toughness or effort), helped a teammate who was struggling or communicated and encouraged teammates (teamwork), stayed positive, even when things weren’t going their way (attitude).
Coaches will select one of their own players to present the TEAM sportsmanship pin to the opposing player.
Following the huddle and cheer, opposing teams will line up facing each other, and coaches will ask if there is anyone who has already received the award multiple times (more than twice, in order to avoid giving the same players multiple pins and achieve the goal of having more players get recognized). The player will then present the pin to the player who earned it. During this presentation, the player will tell everyone why that particular player was selected and what part of the TEAM principles she demonstrated during the game.
Have fun, and remember good sportsmanship makes for better games, and has a long term impact on players!