From a very young age to adulthood, we are taught to have sportsmanship in sports. Should this be taught at an early age or should it be taken out of the game? In my opinion it is a vital part of the game, but it is not fully exclusive to all age groups. I believe that it is good to have a base for learning sportsmanship at a young age but less important such as in the NFL or NBA because at this level, it is more about the fans than the players.
First off, what is sportsmanship? kidshealth.org defines sportsmanship as four different things. Sportsmanship is playing fair, following the rules of the game, respecting the judgment of referees and officials, and treating opponents with respect. Playing fair is important but there are always different aspects that give people an edge in sports (that are within the confines of the rules). Playing fair is again for younger ages, but getting older you get to pick your team so you do not have to play fair, leagues play the best. Respecting the judgement of officials and judges should be a quality that every player should have at all levels. Sometimes referees get a few calls wrong, but the more you complain, the more they will target you. Always follow the rules of the game, that should be standard at all levels. The last is treating opponents with respect. This does not always apply because it was very fun to watch Dennis Rodman in his prime. He did not treat everyone with respect, but that is part of the game.
Sportsmanship is important at all levels, but can make the game more fun if there is a rivalry where two teams hate each other. Fans should stay out of the game, as they are there to cheer. Referees and judges should be respected at all levels. There is no one term fits all for sportsmanship.