1. Understand and play by the rules
Understanding and playing by the rules is your responsibility. The rules exist for the safety, proper order and enjoyment of all people involved in basketball. The lessons to be learned in this respect in basketball are lessons that can and should be carried over into all aspects of your lives. Do not ignore or deliberately break any rules. Even if you think that a deliberate foul may give your team an advantage, you should not commit the deliberate foul in the interests of fair play. If you do consistently commit deliberate fouls or break the rules you must accept that there will be consequences for you and your team. Do not let yourself or your team down.
2. Respect referees and other officials
Referees and officials have a difficult task to perform and you could not play the game without them. They are there to enforce the rules of play but they cannot always be right. Accept bad calls graciously. Abuse of referees is unacceptable behaviour.
Players who consistently dispute decisions or do not accept bad decisions are bad sports. If you disagree with a decision, have your coach, captain or manager approach the referee during a break or after the game, in an appropriate manner.
3. Control your temper
Verbal abuse of officials is a serious offence against the rules of basketball. Verbally abusing other players or deliberately distracting or provoking an opponent are also not acceptable or permitted in basketball. Loss of temper is not only unpleasant for other participants in the game, it can also distract you and have an adverse effect on your concentration and effectiveness on the court.
4. Work equally hard for yourself and for your team
You owe it to yourself and others involved in your team to train and play to the best of your abilities. Your team’s performance will benefit – so will you. If you are half-hearted about your involvement in the sport you will become dissatisfied and lose out on the much of the enjoyment and satisfaction you can derive from giving it your best.
5. Be a good sport
Acknowledge all good plays whether they be by your team or the other team. Good manners and respect can be infectious. Everyone likes to be praised when they do something well. If you acknowledge the achievements of your opponents it is likely they will follow suit. Part of participation in sport is respect for all participants in the game.
Your opponents are entitled to proper courtesy. Always introduce yourself to your opponents on court, congratulate them whether you win or lose and accept a loss gracefully. Remember that the opposition coach is there trying to do the best for their team and is also entitled to respect.
6. Treat all players as you would like to be treated
Do not interfere with, bully or take unfair advantage of another player. Just because one of your team cannot perform as well as you do does not mean that they are not trying.
Everyone makes mistakes. Do not abuse or ridicule another player when a mistake is made. Constructive guidance and encouragement when a player does well will assist a player to improve their game.
7. Play for the “enjoyment of it” and not just to please parents and coaches
Playing sport, including basketball, should be fun. This doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t take it seriously, just that at the same time you should enjoy it. If you enjoy an activity you will perform much better and derive far more benefit from it than if it is an unpleasant experience. You may experience pressure from your coach and parents and others to perform outside of your capability or desires. Whilst this can be a positive and their way of showing you support in your activities, you should resist it where it no longer is enjoyable.
8. Respect the rights, dignity and worth of every person
Regardless of their gender, ability, cultural background, religion or other factor irrelevant to the game, all persons connected with basketball are entitled to equal treatment and respect. Avoid any remarks that could be construed as offensive or discriminatory.
Sometimes even a joke may give offence. Even if a person refers to themselves with a particular label, it should not be taken as an invitation for you to do so. Using discretion is imperative and it is better to err on the side of caution.
9. Be prepared to lose sometimes
Everyone wins and loses at some time. Be a fair winner and a good loser. Disappointment at losing is natural, but it should not be obvious to the point of being unpleasant for others. Just as unpleasant can be the boastful winner. Recognise that even in defeat, the loser has achieved something, just by playing. Not everything in life can be a winning situation. Losing can be an important learning experience for your wider life goals.
10. Listen to the advice of your coach and try to apply it at practice and in games
Your coach has been appointed to coach your team because they have certain abilities and experience. They have also undergone training to ensure that you get the best coach that you can commensurate with your skill levels. Apart from skills training, your coach can provide you with helpful advice on all aspects of playing basketball. Make the most of the opportunity provided to you to work with your coach to have a happy and successful experience in basketball.
11. Always respect the use of facilities and equipment provided
Facilities and equipment cost money and will only function properly if kept in good order. Ensure that you do not abuse anything provided for use. Do not engage in dangerous practices such as hanging off hoops or “slam dunking”. Quite properly, these practices are banned in most venues. Not only can equipment be damaged but serious injury can occur.