What is sportsmanship?

Yappi

Go Buckeyes
Discussion came up recently about sportsmanship in softball. Many issues were discussed and there were some interesting ideas.

Is good sportsmanship important? Do you think sportsmanship should always be honored or are there things that are acceptable because they aren't too bad.

Some things that came up were cutting bases when umpires weren't watching, stealing signs, hitting batters intentionally, sliding with spikes up, parents calling locations of pitches, bat rolling, and many more. What do you think? Is sportsmanship important? In all areas or only a few?
 
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thavoice

Well-known member
To me poor sportsmanship leads to poor people skills in life and the workplace.

The few people I know whom are poor sports are garbage people as well.
 

SMARTY22

Well-known member
Discussion came up recently about sportsmanship in softball. Many issues were discussed and there were some interesting ideas.

Is good sportsmanship important? Do you think sportsmanship should always be honored or are there things that are acceptable because they aren't too bad.

Some things that came up were cutting bases when umpires weren't watching, stealing signs, hitting batters intentionally, sliding with spikes up, parents calling locations of pitches, bat rolling, and many more. What do you think? Is sportsmanship important? In all areas or only a few?
Cutting Corners on Bases is Cheating, Stealing Signs is Stealing😁 and Hitting Batters Intentionally is intentionally trying to possibly hurt someone. None of those and Sportsmanship go together. Heard a lot this yr about sign stealing from the Runner on 2nd in Softball this yr from Umpires and a Parents.
 

Yappi

Go Buckeyes
Heard a lot this yr about sign stealing from the Runner on 2nd in Softball this yr from Umpires and a Parents.
Interesting. Little League made this illegal a couple years ago. Ejection of the player relaying the pitches AND ejection of the Manager.

Wondering if the Houston Astros cheating scandal will drop down to other organizations and ban the sign stealing from catchers.

Kind of stinks when you go play games having one team playing with sportsmanship and allowing the other team to pull out all the tricks to cheat and win. Cutting bases was the one that I hated the most, especially from younger ages because it was obviously taught by a coach to gain an advantage. Amazingly the team I saw doing it was a 10U team a few years back.
 

thavoice

Well-known member
Cutting Corners on Bases is Cheating, Stealing Signs is Stealing😁 and Hitting Batters Intentionally is intentionally trying to possibly hurt someone. None of those and Sportsmanship go together. Heard a lot this yr about sign stealing from the Runner on 2nd in Softball this yr from Umpires and a Parents.
Eh. To me, stealing signs is a part of the game if done naturally, but the runner on second, or from figuring out what the coach is signalling to the catcher if it is a team who does not trust the players to call their own game.
To me, sign stealing is about paying attention to detail, trying to read your defense, and comes in handy in all sports. Is noticing the SS moves when an offspeed pitch considered stealing signs? We won a regional final game that way.

Cutting the bases to me is unethical and wrong.. I knew a team who had a coach who boasted they did this on a squeeze with runners on 2nd and 3rd. Before the game i informed the umps about their propensity to do it....and they got caught that game!
 

Yappi

Go Buckeyes
Usually rounding 3rd and going for home. Umpire(s) is not looking and you cut inside the base by about 5 feet to shorten the distance to home. Works best with one umpire doing the game.
 
I've got no problem with players or a team stealing signs. As mentioned above, a lot of that comes down to paying attention. If the other team can't hide them, that's on them. But don't use electronics or cameras or artificial means to do so.
Cutting the bases is just flat out cheating. I've seen it done more rounding second than anywhere else, but that's just me.
Intentionally hitting a batter is beyond bad sportsmanship. Granted, at lower levels, it's almost as hard for a struggling pitcher to hit a batter as it is to throw a strike, but throwing heaters at someone's head is beyond bush league. Even Roy Turner, coach of the dreaded Yankees in "The Bad News Bears" (1976), didn't go for that kind of stuff. Turner was a douche and slapped his own kid on the mound, but he didn't go in for throwing at an opponent's head.
 

NewOldBlood

Well-known member
I've got no problem with sign stealing as long as it's done without the help of video or some other technology. It's up to the opposing coach to come up with a simple system that can't be simply discerned by the other team. You wouldn't be able to steal signs from most good coaches. The other stuff is Busch league crap but sadly still happens.
 
We faced a team this season that had a girl shoulder our catcher when coming home (our catcher as a good 3-4 feet behind the plate just standing there as there was no throw home). The ump gave no warning, no anything. Later in the game that same girl slid into home arriving just before the ball got there she was correctly called safe and sits on the home plate and sticks her hand out to be helped up by our catcher who did help her up, when the 3rd base coach sees this he sends the girl behind the runner at the plate home for the extra run. While legal and our catcher should have have known better that's a garbage way to play the game and you better believe that a team tries that bs again our catcher will be waiting at home plate. We ended up loosing by 6 runs where we got hit around in one inning. This was an organization that I previously had a lot of respect for, but not for that team and I'd be ashamed if teams in my organization conducted themselves that way. I'll be honest after the shoulder check as the coach who handles the pitchers and calls the pitches I thought about throwing at that girl the next time up, but decided against. As far as sign stealing goes, I have no problem with it, like some have said before disguise your calls well enough that they can't be stolen.
 

Yappi

Go Buckeyes
Interesting story.

I usually give teams the benefit of the doubt but once I suspect they are a dirty team, it is tough to come off that list. We played a team recently that made some questionable decisions. Felt uncomfortable about how they played but the coaches seemed like good people. When I got home, I saw a few things in the video that I thought were inappropriate. Now that team is on my "list" as far as their integrity. Some of the issues could have simply been coincidence but when it is the same team doing questionable things over and over, the pattern says that it is more than a coincidence.
 

Yappi

Go Buckeyes
Another thing that comes up from time to time is delaying games when there is a time limit. IMO, you play the game like there is no clock. If you are going to sub a pitcher, sub that pitcher. But if you are only doing it to slow the game, shame on you. Also, batters that keep a foot in the box the whole game decide in the last inning to step out, take a couple swings, look down to the coach, get in the box with the hand up to the umpire, and then finally get ready. If you change your rhythm to delay the game, that is inappropriate.
 

NewOldBlood

Well-known member
Another thing that comes up from time to time is delaying games when there is a time limit. IMO, you play the game like there is no clock. If you are going to sub a pitcher, sub that pitcher. But if you are only doing it to slow the game, shame on you. Also, batters that keep a foot in the box the whole game decide in the last inning to step out, take a couple swings, look down to the coach, get in the box with the hand up to the umpire, and then finally get ready. If you change your rhythm to delay the game, that is inappropriate.
I disagree with this take, when the clock is part of the game it is part of the game. How is that any different than slowing the game down when you have a lead in football or basketball? The tournaments make the rules and set the clock. I don't find using the clock to your advantage dirty when you're winning.
 

Yappi

Go Buckeyes
I disagree with this take, when the clock is part of the game it is part of the game. How is that any different than slowing the game down when you have a lead in football or basketball? The tournaments make the rules and set the clock. I don't find using the clock to your advantage dirty when you're winning.
At any point, do you question how much time someone can run off the clock?

Every other sport that has a clock, there are systems in place to prevent delaying the game with no action. In football, there are play clocks and delay of game penalties. In basketball, the clock stops on out of bounds plays and a 5-second call for not advancing the ball on offense. Plus the defense can take the ball away from the offense.
 
At any point, do you question how much time someone can run off the clock?

Every other sport that has a clock, there are systems in place to prevent delaying the game with no action. In football, there are play clocks and delay of game penalties. In basketball, the clock stops on out of bounds plays and a 5-second call for not advancing the ball on offense. Plus the defense can take the ball away from the offense.
I think there is over the line, but most times I've seen it, it's within reason. Is it frustrating when we're on the wrong side of it? Sure would we all do it if we were on the other side of it? Sure would.

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PS we played in a couple of tourney's this summer that were 65 minutes then you finish the inning and play another. This setup curtailed pretty much any of that delaying and ended pretty much in the same ballpark (no pun inteded) as the tourneys that do 80 minute finish the inning or revert to previous inning score type of setup.
 
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NewOldBlood

Well-known member
At any point, do you question how much time someone can run off the clock?

Every other sport that has a clock, there are systems in place to prevent delaying the game with no action. In football, there are play clocks and delay of game penalties. In basketball, the clock stops on out of bounds plays and a 5-second call for not advancing the ball on offense. Plus the defense can take the ball away from the offense.
That is a good point. It can be taken too far for sure. I was speaking more on the examples you gave of a pitching change or a few extra practice swings during at bats. I've seen umpires get on coaches who were obviously taking things too far. So from that perspective, it could get a little dirty.
 

NewOldBlood

Well-known member
Edit:
PS we played in a couple of tourney's this summer that were 65 minutes then you finish the inning and play another. This setup curtailed pretty much any of that delaying and ended pretty much in the same ballpark (no pun inteded) as the tourneys that do 80 minute finish the inning or revert to previous inning score type of setup.
Played in a few of these too and I really like that set up. In most cases 65 plus an inning is enough time to get in 7 innings. My least favorite are the drop dead time limits. Never made any sense to me.
 

Auggie

Well-known member
Not a fan of sign stealing but if it is a player doing it I guess it is OK, now if it by the parents in the stands or the coaches overtly calling out a pitch that is another thing. My daughter was in a 16U game and her team had a very good pitcher that had a wicked change up, we played a team known for mashing and the 1st base coach was zeroed in on the signals for the 1st couple batters taking notes on a clip board as we changed up each inning. Once he figured it out he started to call the pitches but not until she was in the wind up, so our pitcher stops mid wind up and stares back at the coach and he mouths off at her. Well you kind of know what happened next, our coach gets into it with the other team's staff and that batter gets a serious brush back pitch and she gets into it with the pitcher. And what was supposed to be a good game between two different styled teams ended up being a cluster f all because of sign stealing.
 

NewOldBlood

Well-known member
Not a fan of sign stealing but if it is a player doing it I guess it is OK, now if it by the parents in the stands or the coaches overtly calling out a pitch that is another thing. My daughter was in a 16U game and her team had a very good pitcher that had a wicked change up, we played a team known for mashing and the 1st base coach was zeroed in on the signals for the 1st couple batters taking notes on a clip board as we changed up each inning. Once he figured it out he started to call the pitches but not until she was in the wind up, so our pitcher stops mid wind up and stares back at the coach and he mouths off at her. Well you kind of know what happened next, our coach gets into it with the other team's staff and that batter gets a serious brush back pitch and she gets into it with the pitcher. And what was supposed to be a good game between two different styled teams ended up being a cluster f all because of sign stealing.
The batter should have gotten one in the ribs lol. My daughter is pitcher and I assure you should would have not taken that well. I would have felt bad for the the next couple of batters.
 

Auggie

Well-known member
The batter should have gotten one in the ribs lol. My daughter is pitcher and I assure you should would have not taken that well. I would have felt bad for the the next couple of batters.
Good pitcher so no hitting a girl, just a little chin music.

This was 4 years ago and we still talk about the game. This was one of those teams where it seemed no girl on the other team was under 5'10" and all were swinging for the fences, no small ball here. So a pitcher with a good change up like ours was their kyptonite, we ended up just letting the catcher call the game on her own and it worked out well :) Actually we did that a lot after that game, catcher was smart girl and knew what to do so we let her run the show.
 

NewOldBlood

Well-known member
Good pitcher so no hitting a girl, just a little chin music.

This was 4 years ago and we still talk about the game. This was one of those teams where it seemed no girl on the other team was under 5'10" and all were swinging for the fences, no small ball here. So a pitcher with a good change up like ours was their kyptonite, we ended up just letting the catcher call the game on her own and it worked out well :) Actually we did that a lot after that game, catcher was smart girl and knew what to do so we let her run the show.
Good pitchers can place a solid fastball to the thigh or butt too, as well as play that chin music;). Only thing better than a nasty change-up is a nasty riseball. Those big hitters seem to love to chase that one. Always seemed odd to me that most really good riseball pitchers have a hard time with the change-up. My daughter lived on the rise and screw for years and was probably in second year 16u before she was able to throw an effective change.
 
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