Good sportsmanship important in postseason

Published 6:45 pm Wednesday, May 3, 2017

April, May and June make up one of the most entertaining sporting stretches of the year. Fans generally have something to watch every day as the NBA and NHL playoffs overlap, especially in the early rounds of the best-of-seven basketball and hockey series.

When two teams meet for at least four games over the span of about two weeks, emotions are amplified from game to game, especially with a shot at a championship on the line. The physicality between two basketball teams simmers with each passing moment in a series.

Even in hockey, where hard-hitting contact and fist fighting are well within the confines of the sport, emotions often boil over. Keeping those emotions in check is yet another challenge for NBA and NHL athletes right now.

Before long, those will be trials confronting Beaufort County’s athletes. This week marks the end of the regular season for most spring sports. Some, like all the local golf teams, are already beginning postseason play.

Those local athletes — baseball, softball, soccer players, golfers and track athletes — will need to keep control of their emotions. Not only will it be crucial to staying focused, but it’s also imperative because any outbursts could result in officiating decisions that negatively impact the team.

More so than that, though, Beaufort County’s athletes should take pride in the high level of sportsmanship they typically show. Northside softball fans may remember certain teams from last year’s playoff run that weren’t quite as courteous to opposing fans and even players.

Just as the athletes are encouraged to make sportsmanship as important as winning, so, too, are parents and fans. The umpire right in front of you calling balls and strikes during a baseball and softball game is human. He is trying his best to be fair to both teams. Mistakes will happen along the line.

The emotional investment is what makes playoff sports such a fun ride. Keep sportsmanship at the forefront to make sure it’s fun for everyone.