Webster's describes sportsmanship as the qualities and behaviors of a person who can take a loss or defeat without complaint, a victory without gloating, and who treats his opponents with fairness, generosity, courtesy and respect. This definition applies not only to the athletes on the field, but also to the coaches and spectators who come to participate in the game.

The program outlined below is intended to encourage positive sporting behavior for everyone involved in NMYAFL youth football games and to provide recognition and rewards for those teams exhibiting exemplary sportsmanship.

All NMYAFL teams will participate in this program. Each team will have its players, coaches and spectators evaluated during each game by the opposing coach or manager, commissioner, and game officials. The sportsmanship points are awarded as follows:

0 to 10 for Players
0 to 10 for Manager and Coaches
0 to 10 for Spectators on your sidelines

Total of 0 to 30 points per review

These reviews will be formulated into a score. The formula will have the following weights to the total score:

Opponent = 40% of the total score (Input Through Weekly Game Report)
Officials = 60% of the total score (Input at Commissioner Tent)
Total Score = 100%

For example, a NMYAFL team is rated by their Opponent with a score of 22 and the Officials a score of 24.

Opponent = 22 Points = 8.8
Officials = 24 Points = 14.4
Total Score = 23.2 out of 30 points or 77.33%

Fall Tackle Teams earning the highest total Sportsmanship score during the season shall win the Sportsmanship Award and their fall tackle sponsorship waived for the following year. If a Varsity team wins they will receive $800 towards their banquet. A team winning the Sportsmanship Award will be recognized at a special ceremony during the Superbowl and will be presented with an award deemed appropriate by the NMYAFL Board of Directors.

Teams who receive a score of less than 50 for any given game will be issued a formal warning by NMYAFL. Teams receiving a score of less than 30 in a single week or less than 60 in consecutive weeks will be subject to appear before the NMYAFL CSC review committee and may be subject to sanctions. Sanctions include but are not limited to:

  • Suspensions for coaches, players and spectators
  • Suspension of the team and forfeits imposed
  • Removal of the team from NMYAFL

How to Evaluate:

When evaluating your opponent, a team visiting your field, or the game you are officiating, use the below guidelines:


  • Exemplifies the highest moral character, behavior, and leadership, while adhering to strong ethical and integrity standards.
  • Respects the integrity and personality of the individual athlete.
  • Abides by and teaches the rules of the game in letter and in spirit.
  • Sets a good example for players and spectators to follow.
  • Refrains from arguments in view of players and spectators.
  • Does not gesture or remark to indicate an official or opposing coach does not know what they are doing or talking about.
  • Does not throw any objections to express disgust or other feelings towards the officials and opposing coaches before and after the contest in full view of the public.
  • Respects the integrity and judgment of game officials.
  • Treats officials with respect, even when they disagree with their judgment
  • Displays modesty in victory and graciousness in defeat.
  • Instructs participants and spectators in proper sportsmanship responsibilities and demands that they make sportsmanship the No. 1 priority.
  • Develops a program that rewards participants and spectators for displaying proper sportsmanship and enforces penalties on those who do not abide by sportsmanship standards.
  • Does not participate in the use of profanity, obscene language or improper actions. 


  • Accepts and understands their responsibility and privilege of representing their league and community.
  • Lives up to the standards of sportsmanship established by the league and the coaching staff.
  • Learns the rules of the game thoroughly and discuss them with parents, fans, and other players.
  • Treats opponents the way they would like to be treated, as a guest or friend.
  • Wishes an opponent good luck before the game and thanks them in a courteous manner following either victory or defeat.
  • Respects the integrity and judgment of game officials.


  • Attends the contest to support and encourage their team and to enjoy the skill and competition.
  • Remembers that football is a learning experience for young athletes and that mistakes will be made.
  • Praises the athletes in their attempt to improve as a student working in their classroom.
  • Learns the rules of the game, so that you may understand and appreciate the certain situations that may take place.
  • Shows respect for the opposing players, coaches and spectators. Treats them as they would treat a guest in their own home.
  • Respects the integrity and judgment of game officials.
  • Understands that the officials are doing their best to help promote the athlete.
  • Admires the willingness of the officials to participate and perform in full view of the public.
  • Recognizes and shows appreciation for an outstanding plays by both teams.
  • Learns, respects and follows all rules set by the governing bodies of the Association and Areas.
  • Uses cheers that only support and uplift the teams involved.
  • Is a positive role model at events through their own actions and behavior. 


  • Abides by the Ten Commandments of Sportsmanship!


  1. "Golden Rule"-- Do unto others as you would have others do unto you.
  2. Enjoy yourself and promote enjoyment for others.
  3. Be responsible for your actions.
  4. Have an open mind to others' weaknesses and have a forgiving attitude.
  5. Have pride in one's performance and one's team.
  6. Be a friend, not an enemy, and create a positive environment.
  7. Encourage others to do or be their best.
  8. Sportsmanship should be contagious.
  9. Remember it is a privilege to participate.
  10. Practice sportsmanship in all situations at all costs.

This program is to improve all aspects of NMYAFL and it members. We can all improve our sportsmanship any time we are at any NMYAFL event or practice.

Help us make sportsmanship the rule in NMYAFL for everyone to follow.



NMAYFL offers training at all levels of play including for Coaches and league officials. Contact our league office for details on how to sign up for our training programs or if you are a certified trainer we would love to talk to you about joining our community.

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