The essential elements of character building and ethics in CIF sports
are embodied in the concept of sportsmanship and six core
principles: trustworthiness, respect, responsibility, fairness, caring
and good citizenship. The highest potential of sports is achieved when
competition reflects these "six pillars of character."
It's the duty of School Boards, superintendents, school administrators,
parents and school sports leadership -including coaches, athletic
administrators, program directors and game officials - to promote
sportsmanship and foster good character by teaching, enforcing,
advocating and modeling these "six pillars of character."
To promote sportsmanship and foster the development of good character,
school sports programs must be conducted in a manner that enhances the
academic, emotional, social, physical and ethical development of
student-athletes and teaches them positive life skills that will help
them become personally successful and socially responsible.
Participation in school sports programs is a privilege, not a right. To
earn that privilege, student-athletes must abide by the rules and they
must conduct themselves, on and off the field, as positive role models
who exemplify good character.
School Boards, superintendents, school administrators, parents and
school sports leadership shall establish standards for participation by
adopting and enforcing codes of conduct for coaches, athletes, parents
All participants in high school sports must consistently demonstrate
and demand scrupulous integrity and observe and enforce the spirit as
well as the letter of the rules.
The importance of character, ethics and sportsmanship should be
emphasized in all communications directed to student-athletes and their
8. School Boards, superintendents,
school administrators, parents and school sports leadership must ensure
that the first priority of their student-athletes is a serious
commitment to getting an education and developing the academic skills
and character to succeed.
School Boards, superintendents, principals, school administrators and
everyone involved at any level of governance in the CIF must maintain
ultimate responsibility for the quality and integrity of CIF
programs. Such individuals must assure that education and character
development responsibilities are not compromised to achieve sports
performance goals and that the academic, social, emotional, physical and
ethical well-being of student-athletes is always placed above desires
and pressured to win.
employees of member schools must be directly involved and committed to
the academic success of student-athletes and the character-building
goals of the school.
involved in competition including parents, spectators, associated study
body leaders, and all auxiliary groups have a duty to honor the
traditions of the sport and to treat other participants with
respect. Coaches have a special responsibility to model respectful
behavior and the duty to demand that their student-athletes refrain from
disrespectful conduct including verbal abuse of opponents and
officials, profane or belligerent trash-talking, taunting and
Boards, superintendents, and school administrators of CIF member
schools must ensure that coaches, whether paid or voluntary, are
competent to coach. Training or experience may determine minimal
competence. These competencies include basic knowledge of: 1) The
character building aspects of sports, including techniques and methods
of teaching and reinforcing the core values comprising sportsmanship and
good character. 2) The physical capabilities and limitations of the age
group coached as well as the first aid. 3) Coaching principles and the
rules and strategies of the sport.
of the powerful potential of sports as a vehicle for positive personal
growth, a broad spectrum of school sports experiences should be made
available to all of our diverse communities.
safeguard the health of athletes and the integrity of the sport, school
sports program must actively prohibit the use of alcohol, tobacco,
drugs and performance enhancing substances, as well as demand compliance
with all laws and regulations, including those related to gambling and
the use of drugs.
that offer athletic programs must safeguard the integrity of their
programs. Commercial relationships should be continually monitored to
ensure against inappropriate exploitation of the school's name or
reputation. There should be no undue influence of commercial
interests. In addition, sports programs must be prudent, avoiding undue
dependency on particular companies or sponsors.
profession of coaching is a profession of teaching. In addition to
teaching the mental and physical dimensions of their sport, coaches,
through words and example, must also strive to build the character of
their athletes by teaching them to be trustworthy, respectful,
responsible, fair, caring and good citizens.