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It’s how you play the game


PAINTING: Permissable before playoffs.
  • PAINTING: Permissable before playoffs.

The Arkansas Activities Association doesn't designate a specific margin of victory as being “unsportsmanlike,” but it has rules for just about everything else. If college and professional sports were subject to the same rules, the sports world would be a better place. The AAA Sportsmanship Manual lists the following as “unacceptable behavior”:

• Yelling or chanting at opponents.

• Making derogatory yells, chants, songs, or gestures. (Examples: “air ball,” “miss it,” “Hit the Road, Jack.”)

• Booing or heckling officials or opposing team. [Apparently the impropriety of booing one's own team is so obvious the AAA doesn't even bother to mention it.]

• Criticizing officials in any way; displays of temper with an official's call.

• Refusing to shake hands or to recognize a good performance.

• Blaming losses on contest officials, coaches or participants.

• Laughing or name-calling to distract an opponent.

• Using profanity or displays of anger that draw attention away from the contest.

• Doing own yells instead of following lead of cheerleaders.

• Demeaning acts such as audible remarks, actions, or gestures. (Examples: Turning backward during introductions, holding up newspapers, shaking car keys, comments after each player is introduced, etc.)


The AAA imposes additional prohibitions

for state championship games.

• Face/body painting. General face/body painting is not permitted. Partial face painting is permitted, such as small markings on the cheeks.

• Posters/banners/signs. All signs must show only positive support. Those which direct negative comments toward opponents or are unsportsmanlike or vulgar are not permitted. No handheld signs, banners, pennants or poms are permitted at any AAA state play-off or championship event.

• Artificial noisemakers. Artificial noisemakers shall not be used at any indoor event. Artificial noisemakers are items such as, but not limited to, megaphones, air horns, bells, whistles, clickers, thunder sticks, explosive devices, tape/CD players, and radios.

• Balloons. Balloons are not permitted at any AAA state play-off or championship event.

• Attire. Bare chests are not permitted. Shirts must be worn.

• Instant replays. Instant replays of controversial calls are prohibited.

Players are enjoined to “Avoid offensive gestures or language,” to “Show respect for public property and equipment.” And, “At no time may either team engage in any type of ‘animated huddle,‘ ‘dance,' or other similar activity at center court or any home team or conference insignia.”


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