The Sporting Spirit:
The sporting spirit is another name of sportsmanship. It means the fair, honest, earnest and generous way in which a game is played. The best players all over the world play the game with the sporting spirit. They keep that as their ideals and never lose sight of it.
In the playfield, sportsmanship is needed most. The laws of the game require that we should play in a fair manner. We must not take undue advantage of our opponents; nor should we try to deceive them. The play must be neatly carried on. Even if our party is being defeated, we must not get impatient and run into a passion. The true sporting spirit wants even a losing game to be played honestly and in conformity with the rules.
The sporting spirit requires that the players must obey the referee or the umpire. Whatever decision is given by him, the players must not grumble not murmur. If he makes an error of judgement, we must respect his announcement and not ridicule his error.
If a game is being played between two unequal sides the sporting spirit is best needed there. The stronger side must play with zest in order that the spectators should enjoy the game and that the weaker side must be able to do its best. If the stronger side trifles the weaker party by playing in a half-hearted manner, the play will suffer.
Sportsmanships is rightly estimated at the time when a party is defeated. It is then that we have to see how a player takes his defeat. If he grows sulky and sad and begins to quarrel and fight with his opponents, he is not a true player. He is said to possess no sporting spirit. The worst traits, that is, jealousy, meanness, quarrelsomeness are not worthy of a sportsman. He must take success and failure with the same equanimity. A true sportsman does not hesitate to praise the superior game of his opponents and rejoices even at their victory.
The sporting spirit is not merely confined to the playfield. It must also be carried into the other walks of life. In everyday life we need it. There are so many mishaps, worries and troubles in the world that a man needs sportsmanship at every step. A man gifted with the sporting spirit has an optimistic view of life. He considers the world a big playfield and plays his part without grumbling. He is satisfied in doing his duty best. It is not his job to think of consequences. He leaves them to God. He takes pleasure in what he does and remains cheerful under all circumstances.
A man with a true sporting spirit plays the game of life also in a fair manner. He does not take recourse to meanness and never hits below the belt. The sporting spirit is a trait of broadmindedness and must be cultivated by all. Our motto should be “Play up! play up! play the game”.