National Sportsmanship Day

National Sportsmanship Day is a holiday that’s observed on the first Tuesday of March every year. It was established to honor one of the highest ideals held in the world of sports: sportsmanship. Even though most fans are concerned with the performance of their favorite team and whether they can drive up the score, they also notice quite quickly when their favorite athletes are playing within the boundaries of respectable sportsmanship.

Athletes who don’t display sportsmanship are usually reviled and those who do are usually respected by not only their own fans but also fans of competing teams. Sportsmanship is not just a lofty platitude but is an important ideal for any professional athlete.

The History Of National Sportsmanship Day

The concept of sportsmanship has been around for centuries now. Some people say that it originated with Medieval knights and the rules they had for conducting games of skill. However, this holiday doesn’t go back nearly as far.

It only goes back to 1990 when it was introduced to the world by the Institute of International Sport at the University of Rhode Island. This first observance of the holiday was observed by over 3,000 schools located all across the U.S. Now, it’s a day that’s been observed for over 32+ years and counting.

Some Quick Facts About Sportsmanship

Before anyone can take the time to celebrate National Sportsmanship Day they first have to know something about sportsmanship. Although most people have a basic understanding of sportsmanship and what it entails, we thought that it would be prudent to list our definition of sportsmanship. So without wasting any more of our readers’ time, let’s go over some of the basic principles of sportsmanship below.

Sportsmanship Entails:

  • Treating your opponents with respect.
  • Playing the game fairly.
  • Making sure to follow the rules of the game as closely as humanly possible.
  • Respecting referees, game officials, and their rulings.
  • Remembering the classic phrase: “It doesn’t matter whether you win or lose, but how you play the game.“

Observing National Sportsmanship Day

This is a holiday for not only celebrating sportsmanship but also encouraging it in young athletes. This can be done by rewarding sportsmanship directly through awards and other incentives, by having special National Sportsmanship Day events, and by older athletes modeling good sportsmanship for younger generations.

People can also spread the news about this holiday using the hashtag #NationalSportsmanshipDay on social media. Now, let’s head out there and play our favorite games in a very sportsmanlike way.

When is it?
This year (2024)
March 5 Tuesday
Next year (2025)
March 4 Tuesday
Last year (2023)
March 7 Tuesday