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OldDog/NewTricks

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Dear 4-H Families and Friends,

Remember—the Clark County Fair is AUGUST 11—15. As you finish your projects for this year’s fair and prepare for exhibiting, I would like to remind you about the importance of good sportsmanship. Measuring sportsmanship can be challenging. However, the new material “The Rules are Black and White—and Apply to All Breeds”, includes a Sportsmanship Tape Measure that can help evaluate sportsmanship attitude, no matter what or where you are exhibiting. The six measuring points on this tape measure:

1. Conduct—many people will be evaluating your behaviors while you are exhibiting at the fair. Your actions represent you, your family, your club and the 4-H program. By demonstrating and maintaining high standards or personal behavior, the people and groups you represent will be proud to have you as a representative.

2. Fairness—you should learn and follow the rules for each area that you will be exhibiting in. Cheating or finding ways to give yourself an unfair advantage is unsportsmanlike. Be objective and fair when evaluating yourself and others.

3. Honesty—no matter what the circumstances, always be truthful, fair, and straight forward in everything you say and do. Part of this is also doing your own work. Of course, we encourage adults to help you if needed, especially for younger youth. But as you mature, take charge by doing your own work. You will feel a greater sense of accomplishment.

4. Competitive Spirit—everyone exhibiting hopes to win first place or to exhibit the grand champion. Competitions involve rivalries between exhibitors. Don’t let an overly competitive spirit get in the way of learning. No matter what the results, you should always learn some-thing. Gain satisfaction knowing you gave your best effort—not from the color of your ribbon. The knowledge learned and experience gained is far more important than your placing.

5. Courtesy—with a courteous attitude, you can also improve your sportsmanship. Always conduct yourself with a friendly and cheerful attitude. Be respectful, thoughtful, considerate, and cooperative, whether you win or lose. Follow the golden rule of “Treat others as you would like to be treated.”

6. Graceful Acceptance of Results—finally, measure your sportsmanship by the way you accept results of competition. Graceful acceptance of results is crucial for an attitude of sportsmanship. If you do not show the winning exhibit, you should listen to the judge’s suggestions for improvement with a positive attitude. Learning why you didn’t place first helps you improve and prepare for the next year. Congratulate the winners and others who placed ahead of you. Appreciate their success and try to learn from their accomplishments.

On the other hand, if you happen to win, be gracious. Over joyous or unpleasant winners all short in the measure of good sportsmanship. Naturally, you can express happiness with your results, but don’t gloat or brag. Graciously thank the people who congratulate you and don’t forget to thank your parents and leaders too.

By keeping sportsmanship in mind as you are exhibiting, the county fair will be a positive and educational experience. If you would like a copy of the resource mentioned above please contact the UW-Extension Office.

See you at the fair!

Karen S. Sipple
4-H Youth Development Agent
Clark County
 

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