Team Roaring Reptiles


Justice-Seeking: Playing Fair in Sports


Saying the memory verse together at suppertime will imprint it on the hearts of your children forever.

Proverbs 12:22

The Lord detests lying lips, but he delights in those who tell the truth.


According to a February 18, 2007 article from the Los Angeles Times, a survey of 5,275 high school athletes by ethicist Michael Josephson found, for example, that about 25% of teen athletes considered rule-bending and aggressive behavior in competition acceptable. A substantial majority did not find it acceptable, though the percentage who considered that behavior acceptable had risen since a previous survey.

Among other notable survey results were:

* At least 65% of athletes acknowledged cheating on an exam at least once within a year, compared with a 60% rate among a general student population.

* 72% of football players acknowledged cheating.

* 48% of baseball players believe it proper for a coach to order his pitcher to throw at an opposing batter in retaliation.

* 37% of boys think it is acceptable for a coach to motivate a player using personal insults and vulgarity.

* 43% of boys endorse trash-talk and showboating during games.

* 6.4% of male athletes acknowledged using performance-enhancing drugs in the last year.

There is a lot of discussion about sportsmanship needed with our athletes, parents and coaches. We talk about the wonderful things that sports and competition do for children, adults and society. But we also fight pressures to succeed and to win at all costs. We need make sure that teams are motivated for the right reasons.


How well did you listen to the story?

Q. What is a statistician?
A. He keeps track of what everyone does during the competition.

Q. When Liz practiced the log jump, what number did Morrie record finally?
A. Morrie recorded that Liz had jumped 6 logs.

Q. When Morrie lies and tells Granny that he got 98% on his history test, what was his actual grade?
A. He had received a 73%.

Q. What is Morrie’s favorite cake?
A. It’s Black Berry with chocolate dipped fly chips.

Q. Who tackles Spike as he tries to do the log jump?
A. Skink tackles Spike.


This question is meant to help the children develop a biblical understanding of God, who He is and what He does. The "answer" is not meant for parents to read to their children. Rather its purpose is to assist parents in guiding the conversation to this biblical understanding. We encourage you to use an open Bible in this conversation, building biblical literacy and well as a biblical theology.


Is it okay to win no matter what the costs?


In Matthew 16: 26, Jesus says, "What good will it be for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul? Or what can anyone give in exchange for their soul?" Who you are as a person inside is more important than winning in a competition. People who cheat know how they won and other people playing know too, even if they don't say it out loud. Cheating to win is not winning at all. Soon other people will not want to play with that person.


Talk with your coach, your parents and your teammates about sportsmanship. This might be a hard conversation to have. Do you speak up when a referee or umpire makes a wrong call? Create a poster for your team to post on the field or in the locker room. Talk about famous athletes who have been caught cheating. What do we remember about them?
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