THE or competition. Great scholars and experts have said


Author details:

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Rajkumar Bharali

Assistant Professor,

Centre for Studies in Physical Education and Sports,

Dibrugarh University (Assam)

Mob: 7509522276

E-mail id: [email protected], [email protected]



Sport in brief

Human being is playful by nature. A person involves
himself/herself in different games or physical activities as a means of
recreation or competition. Great scholars and experts have said that games
& sports are one of the primary aspects of achieving health & fitness.
Play is a joyful creative activity which is mostly done for fun & leisure;
but, sport is a formal, rule-oriented and organized activity which needs
physical movement and skill, where an individual or team competes against
another or others. There are different governing bodies for each sport to look
after the various operations. Sport is recognized as a form of physical, mental
and spiritual embodiment.



Ethics and Sports Ethics: The concept

            “Ethics” means moral philosophy or
a set of principles that determines right or wrong conduct. The English word
“Ethics” is derived from Greek word “Ethikos” which means “relating to one’s
character”. Ethics is concerned with values which helps human morality to take
decision on good and evil, right and wrong, justice and injustice etc. Taking
various concepts of well-known philosophers around the world, it can be stated
that ethics is always related with morality and judgment based on moral
principle. In day to day human life, ethics plays a crucial role to behave or
to act in such a manner that elicits the outlook of an individual’s total

           Sports ethics is the set of moral
principles applied in the field of games & sports. In different situation
of games & sports, athletes possess different behaviors. Sports ethics
combines those behaviors to analyze each and every sportspersons for the sake
of sportsmanship. It is a broad subject matter of Sports Psychology where
researchers are perpetually doing researches and finding out new truths which
can be used to make sports discipline a better medium to show ideologies for
life. Both good ethics and bad ethics are prevailing in the field of sports.
And now, it is the responsibility of sports enthusiasts, researchers, coaches
and teachers to stop those unwanted ethical conducts from sports and promote
the concept of fair play.


Sports Ethics: A practical Analysis

           The genesis of sports ethics is as
old as the ancient Olympic Games, organized in Greece. The Greeks organized
Olympics as a social-cultural-educational extravaganza in every four years.
Olympic itself was given a high moral value in honor of Zeus-the supreme deity.
Different rules were set that governed and regulated the Olympic contests which
brought the Olympics to a very high standard sports festival. Sport was a
lifestyle for the people of ancient Greece, and they placed athletics at par
with aesthetics, ethics and mathematics as the four major ingredients of
complete education. In the year 1896, Baron Pierre De Coubertin organized
Olympic Games in a systematic way to create universal brotherhood among
different nations of the world. Since the arising of modern Olympic Games
(1896), sports have been regarded as one of the major aspects of human

          Sport encourages fair play which
means right attitudes of sportspersons with right spirit, respect for others
and care for his/her freedom from bodily and psychological harm. To bring
fairness in different sports, sports organizations set rules and regulations
and specific counseling for the athletes. Sport is perhaps the only field in
society where continuous effort is put to provide full freedom and justice to
the athletes. No decision is delayed or denied. Sports ethics says not to allow
racism, discrimination and gender inequity. Win and loss are the two outcomes
of sports competition or other disciplines of human activity. In sports, the
picture of “friendly rivalry” is seen irrespective of who wins or loses. There
is one more serious issue in sports which is called “Doping”, which means using
illegal drugs to enhance sports performance. There are a number of instances of
seizing medals and trophies or restricting the participation of athletes in
sports competitions as a punishment of doping. Doping harms the code of sports
ethics and it is a crime. Hence, WADA (World Anti Doping Agency) has been
formed to control this unethical issue in sports. Nevertheless, there are many
things done to make sports a complete formal discipline where referees,
coaches, trainers, teachers or administrators become qualified by doing
certificate, diploma, license or degree courses. These qualified personnel
maintain a sound sporting environment and provide numerous efforts for the sake
of sports culture in an ideal way.



Impact on Society

          Sport is like a mirror of the
society. It reflects different codes of conduct of people. Sports matter a lot
to the society life. Both positive and negative aspects of sports ethics exist.
A person possessing positive ethics will benefit the society or vice-versa.
Sports gives many ethical lessons to human life; like if a child involves
himself/herself in sports in young age, he/she will learn many good things like
punctuality, discipline, friendship, leadership, motivation, respect and as a
whole humanity which is the ultimate quality possessed by human being. Sports
participation teaches the value of hard work, co-operation, team work which can
be taken into general life to face different challenges in life. Around the
world, different governmental and non-governmental organizations are taking an
ideal step to spread the significance of sports ethics for a new and renovated
society. Only participation in sports tournaments can teach about ethics;
involvement in recreational games is not that much helpful in this regard. Even
United Nations Organization admires sports culture for healthy ethical conducts
of human being. There is a lot more to come in sports which would promote more
ethical lessons for people. And that time is coming soon.

          In the pages of history, there are
numerous instances of sports competitions which created balance among different
countries; especially, the third world countries benefitted by participating in
international sports tournaments. Moreover, concerning human value, sports
tournaments are organized to help the poor by raising fund. Some countries are
not rich according to GDP but, they are developing due to their awareness in
sports participation for which people are doing work with mutual co-operation
to recognize themselves as the residents of a developing nation.

A Solemn Commitment

          Well, it is understood that sport
matters a lot for making people realizing the ethical principles towards human
life. Now, is there anything to be done by the society? What would be the
outcome? The sincere answer to this question is yes, there is something to be
done by society people for a constructive value-based outcome towards the
social living. Sport is regarded as a sacred gift to mankind. It is a part of
complete education which can make each and every individual physically,
mentally and spiritually healthy. Sport is always giving valuable lessons and
people are realizing those. Now, there are certain doable things to be taken as
a challenge by the society people. First of all, sports must be compulsory in
every educational institution. Students should be given proper sporting
facilities with guidance. Next, the rules and regulations of every sport should
be re-verified and if possible then should be modified. The ministry should
create more sports policies for the new generation for a healthy nation. The
sports psychologists should project some effective researches which would bring
the sporting environment to the next level. At the last but not the least, it
is expected from every students or new generation to participate in sports out
of caste, creed and color; and spread the awareness of sports ethics to the
different corners of the society to lift up the flag of ultimate humanity
through sports.  




M.L.Kamlesh. Key ideas in Sport Psychology. New Delhi: Friends Publications
(India), 2007, pp. 297-307.


Robert Burton. Sports Psychology Motivation,
Participation and Performance. New Delhi: Sports Educational Technologies,
2009, pp. 209-234.


Steven Brown. Ethics in Sports Management. New Delhi: Friends Publications
(India), 2009, pp. 108-120.