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What is Gamesmanship and What is Cheating?


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With talk on another thread hot and heavy I (actually someone else inspired me to start this :thumb:) thought it might be worthwhile to ask where the line line between gamesmanship and cheating lies?

 

In other words, where do you step over the line into cheating?

 

For example:

 

watering the field

growing the grass long

filming opposing teams games

overzealous scouting

tear-away jerseys

anything else you can think of

 

Don't use specific names or events but tell us about events without specifics. Confusing? Good. I've seen a lot of funny things that teams have done to try and gain an "edge" on their opponent. (When I say funny I mean strange, not :lol:) What is the difference between legal and unethical/illegal?

 

I'll begin with the notion that some places have watered down the fields to slow faster teams down. I've seen it taken to great extremes. I think it's cheating because you have abused the home field responsibility (the flip side of the advantage coin) which is to provide the best facility you can for the upcoming game.

 

What are some others you can think of or even disagree with?

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With talk on another thread hot and heavy I (actually someone else inspired me to start this :thumb:) thought it might be worthwhile to ask where the line line between gamesmanship and cheating lies?

 

In other words, where do you step over the line into cheating?

 

For example:

 

watering the field

growing the grass long

filming opposing teams games

overzealous scouting

tear-away jerseys

anything else you can think of

 

Don't use specific names or events but tell us about events without specifics. Confusing? Good. I've seen a lot of funny things that teams have done to try and gain an "edge" on their opponent. (When I say funny I mean strange, not :lol:) What is the difference between legal and unethical/illegal?

 

I'll begin with the notion that some places have watered down the fields to slow faster teams down. I've seen it taken to great extremes. I think it's cheating because you have abused the home field responsibility (the flip side of the advantage coin) which is to provide the best facility you can for the upcoming game.

 

What are some others you can think of or even disagree with?

 

If your talking about todays rules, I think tear-a-way jerseys is a bit prehistoric. Kinda like leather helmets.:D IMO

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I wouldn't call a lot of things cheating, as previously stated, if it is no in the rule book it's not cheating.

 

But, I think it is unethical to do anything, outside of practicing and preparing, to give your team an unfair advantage. Some will argue that the home team has an unfair advantage all the time, I would not call that an unfair advantage, just an advantage. If it rains six inches before the game, that may well give one team an advantage over a faster team, but deliberately watering the field down to slow a team is an unfair advantage. And, I have heard of it being done.

 

Intimidation of a visiting team is an advantage, but not an unfair advantage, but throwing rocks at a bus is an unfair advantage. Having a larger crowd is an advantage, but refusing to admit visitor fans because of "Maximum capacity" (When it is not true) is an unfair advantage.

 

I think a team should play by the rules and the game should be played to determine the winner, not some outside interference.

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Let's add some recent instances that fall in gray areas:

 

- Use of artificial noise makers for intimidation (ie: air horns, cowbells, cannon's, fireworks)

 

- Refusing to exchange game films after receiving them from other coaches

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Let's add some recent instances that fall in gray areas:

 

- Use of artificial noise makers for intimidation (ie: air horns, cowbells, cannon's, fireworks)

 

- Refusing to exchange game films after receiving them from other coaches

 

Do you mean other teams are using air horns, cannons, or fireworks during actual play or after a score? As far as cowbells, I have one that I take to games and have never had anybody say they were not allowed or that the noise created an unfair advantage. I’m not sure if air horns are banned by the KHSAA or just by Fort Campbell, but they are not allowed at our home games. Now a cannon on the other hand would be a good idea seeing how we are an Army post. Doesn’t Highlands use a cannon? Wonder if the 101st can cough up a Howitzer? :flame:

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Guest Bluto
As far as cowbells, I have one that I take to games and have never had anybody say they were not allowed or that the noise created an unfair advantage.

 

Not unfair; just annoying.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

:D:p

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Let's add some recent instances that fall in gray areas:

 

- Use of artificial noise makers for intimidation (ie: air horns, cowbells, cannon's, fireworks)

 

- Refusing to exchange game films after receiving them from other coaches

 

 

Recent and Cannon don't qualify if you are talking about the Highlands cannon. Highlands cannon has been firing for Highlands games since 1968 (HHS vs. Cov. Cath. happened to be the first firing). And I'm sure it will be firing for many more generations to follow.:thumb:

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I wouldn't call a lot of things cheating, as previously stated, if it is no in the rule book it's not cheating.

 

But, I think it is unethical to do anything, outside of practicing and preparing, to give your team an unfair advantage. Some will argue that the home team has an unfair advantage all the time, I would not call that an unfair advantage, just an advantage. If it rains six inches before the game, that may well give one team an advantage over a faster team, but deliberately watering the field down to slow a team is an unfair advantage. And, I have heard of it being done.

 

Intimidation of a visiting team is an advantage, but not an unfair advantage, but throwing rocks at a bus is an unfair advantage. Having a larger crowd is an advantage, but refusing to admit visitor fans because of "Maximum capacity" (When it is not true) is an unfair advantage.

 

I think a team should play by the rules and the game should be played to determine the winner, not some outside interference.

 

 

I think the key is following the letter AND the spirit of the law and be never putting yourself in a position to accused of being unethical. These are kids and it is a kids game. Our behavior, especially that of our coaches, needs to model the kind of behavior we would want our kids to exhibit. Watering a field until it is a sloppy mess to win a game completely misses the point of what we should be doing. There are regulations about noisemakers (cannons, music, etc...) I believe. I never thought of a cannon as an advantage. I've never seen a cannon throw a block or make a tackle. It is more about providing a fun atmosphere for a Friday night and that is great.

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If artificial noisemakers impose upon game conditions, then that is "unsportsmanlike". Use of said instruments (band included) should be restricted to non-action situations...excluding the LOS signal calling.

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If artificial noisemakers impose upon game conditions, then that is "unsportsmanlike". Use of said instruments (band included) should be restricted to non-action situations...excluding the LOS signal calling.

 

Forgot about bands.... that is an overlooked one too.

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Cheating is clearly anything that formally breaks the rules of play. Anything less than that is not cheating.

 

To me, issues of gamesmanship and sportsmanship involve etiquette between the competitors, and does not extend to the teams' fan bases, bands or student bodies. I think that stuff like hitting players when they're down after a play is over or cursing other players demonstrates a lack of sportsmanship. Issues like using breakaway jersies (before they were banned) are not poor sportsmanship, they are issues of creativity.

 

If one considers making creative use of the game's rules as wrong, then I suppose it's not proper to run trick plays like fake handoffs or flea-flickers.

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