Fair Play Philosophy

Fair play is an attitude, a way of thinking. It can be taught and it can be learned. Once it’s learned, it can apply to every aspect of a person’s life. That’s why fair play is so important and that’s why all of us are responsible.

We believe that the fair play philosophy becomes reality through the creation of a more ethical sport system, one that is democratic, open to all Canadians, and grounded in the principles of integrity, fairness and respect. Through sport, athletes learn about setting goals, working hard and having fun. They learn to respect their own abilities, and those of their competitors, and to value the effort of all participants, regardless of ability. When guided appropriately, athletes begin to realize that the joy of sport is as much in the effort as in the result.

Developing a more ethical sport system means addressing tough issues like violence and equity. In turn, both of those issues include difficult areas such as sexual harassment, the principles of team selection and participant involvement. Through fair play resources, advocacy, communications and training, we’re working with partners at the National, Provincial and Municipal levels to create an atmosphere in which coaches, athletes, administrators and educators can make every athlete’s sport experience a positive experience. We believe in an alternative and positive sport-model, one that closes the gap between fair play as a vision and fair play as a reality. We welcome your involvement.

Fair Play: An Athletes, Coach, Official, Parent and Administrator Role

Everyone involved in sport, from parents and spectators to athletes, officials and coaches, can and should play a part in promoting Fair Play. And the easiest way to do this is to lead by example; to always respect the written and unwritten rules of the game. It is also essential to learn how to constructively manage stress so that Fair Play skills and instincts will not be lost in the heat of competition.

Here are some examples of how we can incorporate Fair Play into sport and recreation activities:


· Participate because you want to, not just because your parent or coach wants you to.

· Co-operate and respect your coach, teammates and opponents, because without them, there would be not game.

· Always try to control your temper. Competition is stressful and can provoke powerful emotions, but fighting and mouthing off spoil the game for everyone.

· Remember that winning isn’t everything. While it is great to win, it should always be fun to play.


· Encourage your team to respect the opposing team and the rules of the game, to accept the judgements of officials and opposing coaches without argument.

· Teach your players how to manage conflict and stress, and use good judgement in tough situations.

· Avoid overplaying talented players and allow average players equal playing time.

· Remember that children need a coach they can respect. Be generous with praise and set a good example.


· Be consistent and objective in calling infractions, regardless of your personal feelings toward a team, coach or individual.

· Prevent any players or team staff from intimidating other participants, either by word or action. Similarly do not tolerate unacceptable conduct toward yourself, other officials, players or spectators.

· Remain open to constructive criticism and try to consider different points of view.

· Respect the athletes, their coaches, parents and everyone involved in your sport.

· Remember that you have many shared interests and common sport goals.


· Make sure that coaches and officials are capable of promoting Fair Play as well as the development of sound judgment and good technical skills. Encourage them to become certified.

· Do your best to ensure that all children are given the same chance to participate, regardless of age, gender, ability, ethnic background or race.

· Work toward ensuring that recreation department staffs, parents, coaches and participants understand their role and their responsibility for promoting Fair Play in sports.

· Distribute Fair Play Codes to spectators, coaches, players, officials, parents and news media.