On Sunday, May 22, 2011, Syracuse played Maryland at Gillette Stadium. The teams were locked in a physical, sometimes contentious, defensive battle and after four quarters, the game was tied. In overtime, Maryland scored the winning goal and the whole team ran onto the field to celebrate while Syracuse gathered in near silence. What happened after that is one of the best parts of sport. Each team formed a single line, each player took off their right glove and they shook each other’s hands in sincere congratulations.
One of the great parts of any team sport is the ability to compete against an opponent at the highest level possible. Without an opponent this opportunity is lost. That is why it is so important to thank our opponents after a game for giving us the opportunity to play and coach to our potential. Simply put, without an opponent, there is no game.
Due to some recent issues after games and observations by the Executive Committees, there are some recommendations for post-game procedures and conduct guidance to improve the overall level of sportsmanship in CYLA. As a league, CYLA should be a leader in teaching both skill and sportsmanship. Both are parts of the game of lacrosse and a focus on sportsmanship as well as skill is important.
The executive committee requests that all coaches explain sportsmanship to their players at all levels and reinforce it during and after each game. Please consciously add sportsmanship to your training and don’t assume that it has already been taught. Further, the procedure and conduct for after game congratulations should include:
1. Helmets on;
2. Right Glove off;
3. A handshake (as they say, “like a real gentleman”).
Encourage the kids to save fist bumps and elbow smashes for teammates and friends. Let them know that name calling and unkind remarks in line are not acceptable. A message of respect is the main thing to convey after the game.
Thank you for your continued support of lacrosse and sportsmanship in CYLA.