1. Remember that most people play sport for enjoyment
People are not playing basketball for the entertainment of spectators nor are many of them professionals. You should be watching basketball for your own enjoyment and to show support for those playing. Help the players to enjoy their game. Applaud good performances from each team. Congratulate all players regardless of the outcome.
2. Accept decisions of all referees as being fair and called to the best of their ability
Referees and officials have a difficult task to perform. You would not have a game to enjoy 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.
Spectators who consistently dispute decisions or do not accept bad decisions are bad sports. If you disagree with a decision, accept it graciously – you cannot change it.
3. Always be positive in your support for players
Never ridicule or shout at a player, particularly a young player for making a mistake during competition. Positive support for players will offer encouragement to them and most likely spur them to better things on the court.
4. Condemn the use of violence in any form
Never encourage players to engage in violence or engage in it yourself. Violence has no place in basketball and strong action should be taken to discourage it.
5. Respect your team’s opponents, officials and spectators
Without your team’s opponents, there would be no game. Their supporters are there to enjoy the game as much as you are. Light-hearted banter with an opposing spectator can add a further element of fun to a game. Conversely, nasty or inappropriate behaviour or remarks will seriously detract from it.
6. Encourage players to obey the rules and to accept the decisions of officials
Often players can get carried away when spectators become enthusiastic or heated over an issue. This can be a positive but it can also be negative when it involves such behaviour as disputing decisions. Always encourage players to obey the rules and do not dispute referees’ decisions.
7. Demonstrate appropriate social behaviour by not using foul language or harassing players, coaches or officials
Anti-social behaviour such as foul or abusive language has no place in basketball. If others engage in it, just ignore them – they will soon tire of it if they get no reaction. Alternatively, ask them politely to desist. If it continues and it is serious, bring it to the attention of an official.
8. Respect the rights, dignity and worth of every person
Regardless of their gender, ability, cultural background, religion or other factors 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. Keep children in your care under control
Basketball encourages you to bring your children to games. However, there can be dangers to them in a basketball stadium. They can also constitute a danger to players. You should ensure that children with you at a basketball game are well behaved and do not wander onto or too near to courts. They can easily be knocked down by a player or a player can trip over a child when concentrating on the play and not expecting a small child to be in the way.
10. 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 encourage players to 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 also serious injury can occur.