An Independent School • Grades 5-12
The Lakeside Fan Code of Conduct

by Chris Hartley, director of athletics

As someone who has loved sports since the time I could run, kick, and throw, I enjoy working in athletics as an adult. I want our student-athletes to feel the joy I felt when competing. My biggest frustration in this work occurs when fans behave poorly. I do not understand why people believe it is appropriate to make fun of athletes on the other team, to scream at officials who have a difficult job, or use bigoted language to show superiority.

The Lakeside Athletics Fan Code of Conduct is posted in several places in The Paul G. Allen Athletics Center. It was created by a group of Lakeside Athletics Program Heads to remind all fans about how we expect people to carry themselves when attending a competition. (You will notice that the four pillars of this code spell ROAR: Respect, Observe, Accept, and Rise up.) As you read the messaging I am confident that you will see a close alignment with these expectations and the school’s community expectations.

Lakeside Athletics fan code of conduct: integrity, fairness, and respect are lifetime values taught through athletics. They are the principles of good sportsmanship. With them, the spirit of competition thrives. Lakeside school wants everyone to enjoy the experience of attending all our games and competitions. We ask that everyone abide by the following code of conduct: Respect (opponents, officials, teammates, coaches, and spectators. Your behavior influences others whether you are aware or not); Observe (the proper ideals of sportsmanship, ethical conduct, and fair play); Accept (the rulings and outcome of the game or contest with class. Win gracefully, lose graciously, applaud everyone's effort); Rise up (and stand up to demeaning, discriminatory or harassing behavior and speech. Create a safe, comfortable, and enjoyable environment for everyone.)

For example, one of the pillars identified in the code of conduct reads, “Rise up, and stand up to demeaning, discriminatory, or harassing behavior and speech. Create a safe, comfortable, and enjoyable environment for everyone.” Part of Lakeside’s community expectations states, “Lakeside community members hold themselves and one another accountable for their actions and take responsibility for how individual acts and behaviors work together to shape the community.” We do not tolerate demeaning or discriminatory language or behavior during the school day or when our community gathers. This must extend to behavior and language when attending athletics events and must include opponents, officials, and fans of our opponents.

I expect our coaches to model characteristics of respect, fairness, compassion, and allyship. We expect our athletes to embrace the ideals of sportsmanship and athletics; that is, to be fierce competitors AND to admire the efforts of their competitors, to support the efforts of the officials, and to embrace the ideals of this school’s mission at all times. And for those two things to happen, I expect our fans — be they parents and guardians, fellow students, or anyone supporting Lakeside’s athletes — to uphold the standards outlined in the Fan Code of Conduct.

During any season I’ve been a coach, I’ve always made it a point to speak with the parents and guardians of my players at the beginning of each season. I shared with them my commitment to sportsmanship and my expectation that the players strive to exhibit those ideals every day, on and off the field. I then relayed how challenging it would be for me to hold my players accountable if their parents and guardians did not display those same ideals as fans. While I knew that the players looked up to me, I shared that the players were influenced much more significantly by the behaviors of their parents/guardians. I asked that they partner with me to teach and solidify these ideals in these athletes.

I ask the same of anyone who comes to cheer on a Lakeside team. Be loud. Be proud. And, “recognize that the purpose of athletics is to promote the physical, mental, moral, social, and emotional well-being of all student-athletes.”

And, since we are on the topic of cheering on the Lakeside Lions, please know that all are welcome at all of our competitions. If your family is looking for a fun way to spend an evening, come cheer on the Lions this year! We always love to see Middle School families at the competitions played by our Upper School students. It is a great way for Middle School families to be introduced to the Upper School campus, culture, and people. You can find the current schedule at www.lakesideschool.org/athletics.

Go Lions!

Follow Lakeside Athletics on Twitter at @LakesideLions.