Author Topic: Sportsmanship and respect  (Read 1800 times)

Shirlene Clark

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Sportsmanship and respect
« on: March 05, 2013, 09:40:41 PM »
Sharing something from NADAC in Australia.........

"One of the wonderful things about agility is that it creates a real community or family like atmosphere.  One of the not so wonderful aspects of this is that it can lead to a familiarity which can sometimes result in less than stellar sportsmanship in regard to comments and behaviour. 

I would like to address a few issues which come under the umbrella of sportsmanship and hopefully encourage people to take a moment to think before speaking.  That moment of thinking before speaking may prevent you from finding yourself accountable for poor sportsmanship.

The first issue I would like to address is showing respect to the Judge.  All NADAC Judges are trained to a high level of expertise and have continued ongoing education for as long as they remain a Judge.  You would be hard pressed to find an unfriendly or unapproachable NADAC Judge.  Judges are happy to answer questions at an appropriate time during a trial and wherever possible explain the scoring of your run (again at an appropriate time during the trial).  The key wording here is at an appropriate time not when there is another team on the course who should have the Judge’s full attention.

It is never appropriate to dispute the Judge in regard to someone else’s run.  Not only is this disrespectful to all concerned it is poor sportsmanship and can lead to an excusal from the trial.

The second issue I wish to address is showing respect and good sportsmanship towards your fellow exhibitors. 

When you are working as a “volunteer official” at the score table or in the ring your behaviour should always be respectful to the team in the ring.  Commentating on or criticising the team running the course to your fellow table workers is never acceptable.  Behaviour such as that is not only “hurtful” to the team on the course it shows very little respect and a lot of poor sportsmanship.

Finally I would like to make mention of giving unsolicited advice/criticism.  Something I often refer to as “joy stealing”.  Joy stealers are those people who without invitation tell a person what they should or shouldn’t be doing, how they should or shouldn’t be running their dog and so on.  In a moment lacking in thought or tact they can steal the joy from the person who was feeling happy about all the positive things they just achieved in the ring with their dog.  Joy stealers have seemingly no idea that person may be happy with their less than perfect run or may have just achieved a major breakthrough in their teamwork with their dog.  To all the joy stealers out there if someone hasn’t asked for your advice then chances are they don’t want it.  I have no problem with people giving solicited advice.  I have big problems with people giving unsolicited advice/criticism and stealing the joy from other NADAC exhibitors.

As the facilitator of the NADAC program in Australia I will always promote and encourage good sportsmanship across the board at all NADAC events.  I will always act strongly in cases of poor sportsmanship.  For the most part I find NADAC exhibitors to be the epitome good sportsmanship.  I want all exhibitors to have an enjoyable time participating in NADAC events."

Shirlene Clark

A Jussero

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Re: Sportsmanship and respect
« Reply #1 on: March 06, 2013, 07:53:52 AM »
I'm sure many of us are following the comments regarding the March editorial in Clean Run magazine in relation to behavior at trials.  I started running my dog in a different venue back in the late 1990's and met with cliques, criticism, etc., and with my raging paranoia, it was not pleasant, but I did find supportive people there to hang with so continued to trial.  Then I began in NADAC and for those of you who know me and because of where we live, I travel alone to trials in the US and Canada and at every trial, I find a group of comfortable, warm, welcoming people, always supportive, judges who are great judges and great competitors.  I can't say enough about the just plain FUN I find at every trial. We don't have NATCHes or fancy titles but I don't care, we just have a blast.
Ann J.

Natasha Osborn

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Re: Sportsmanship and respect
« Reply #2 on: March 07, 2013, 04:32:10 AM »
Thank you Shirlene for a great post.  One of the last trials I was at included every item you have mentioned and was, to date, the worst, most upsetting trial I have ever been to.  I thought after 3 months off that I would forget about it but I am still upset and anxious about trialing again.  For me, agility is all about my dogs with the side benefit of the wonderful support and fun of the extended NADAC family.  I am still trying to get my brain around how that changed and how so much negativity was able to intrude between the relationship between my dogs and I.  We head out to trail again in another week and I hope it is back to the light, happy fun weekends I remember and I have to do nothing but build courses, volunteer and love every moment with my dogs.  Thanks for your insight and I hope every NADAC member reads your post, thinks about it and focuses on what we all love about this sport - our dogs.
Natasha Osborn 

David Tharle

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Re: Sportsmanship and respect
« Reply #3 on: March 07, 2013, 05:03:23 AM »
Thanks for this Shirlene

I've long looked for a name or way to describe your final point.  Hope you don't mind if I "borrow" yours.  I believe that unfortunately "joy stealing" finishes a lot of new blood before they really get to experience our sport and slowly kills some of the veterans.  Most folks would never criticize someone else s actions, especially publicly, but we seem more than eager to offer "helpful" unsolicited advice without thought of what it is we're really saying to the person.  The great thing with NADAC is I hear a lot less "theft" happening than in some other venues I've experienced.

Dave Tharle
Ardmore, AB

Lisa Schmit In The Zone Agility

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Sportsmanship and respect
« Reply #4 on: March 08, 2013, 03:12:28 AM »
Joy stealer is the perfect name!!  I think about this post every Xmas......when Dwayne goes crazy buying me stuff.....     That post about joy stealing years ago really made me think about how happy it makes Dwayne to buy me stuff......and I shouldnt get mad....or at least not openly get mad.....when he buys expensive stuff....    I am probably the only wife on earth that gets mad when her husband buys her expensive stuff.😄😄😄
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