Does cheating and gamesmanship to be reconsidered regarding fair-play in grassroots sports?

Francisco Javier Ponseti Verdaguer, Jaume Cantallops Ramón, Pere Antoni Borrás Rotger, Alexandre García-Mas


The aim of this study was to analyze the attitudes towards fair play, playing foul/hard, and the acceptability of teams’ antisocial behaviour, such as cheating and gamesmanship, in the context of grassroots sports teams. The sample included 48 teams of basket, football, handball, volleyball and rugby, including 1333 adolescents (1013 boys and 320 girls) with a mean age of 12.50 years (Range: 10-15; SD = 2.09 years). In order to study these psychological variables, the athletes answered the Predisposition to Cheating in Sports and the Fair play Attitudes Scale. Results showed the importance of the enjoyment in all sports studied, and an amount of acceptance to gamesmanship and cheating mostly in the masculine players. There are significant differences regarding the sport practiced and the players’ sex. Considering overall these results, gamesmanship is somehow accepted by team players while the cheating is not generally accepted but refused. Therefore, it will have to consider the gamesmanship correctly regarding the players’ perception of the concept of fair play.


Fair play, Cheating, Gamesmanship, Grassroots Sports

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