The Sportsmanship Award program has been a mainstay of the Troy Strawberry Festival Soccer Invitational for many years. The principle behind the program is for coaches to award a single opponent a patch during each preliminary game. Coaches are instructed to award the patch to the opponent who exhibits the qualities of sportsmanship.
What is sportsmanship? Unfortunately (and sadly) that can be hard to define. We all know it when we see it – but defining it can be challenging. A common theme is respect. Respecting your opponent, the game officials, your fellow players and the fans as well. The less tangible but as meaningful dimension is respecting the sport. Soccer laws are just that. They are principles of behaviour which lead us to compete but compete with respect. Players that compete in the spirit of the laws of soccer (and life in general) are being good sports. Players that violate the laws of soccer are not.
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