571 New London Road   Hamilton, Ohio 45013   Office: 513-863-3993   FAX:513-785-2844

Letter of Sportsmanship


Dear Parents and Students,

Sports are an important part of education in the high schools of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati. We regard our fields, gyms, and other athletic facilities as classrooms. The purpose of these classrooms is to help our students learn the central mission of Catholic schools, "Values for a Lifetime": hard work and sacrifice, teamwork and generosity, winning and losing with dignity, and appreciation of God's presence in all of creation.

We expect a Catholic spirit in our academic classrooms -- respect and kindness towards all people because God is present in all people. Why would we expect less in our athletic classrooms?

This Catholic approach to sports runs counter to our culture. Radio talk shows encourage fans to insult each other on the air. Local television stations sponsor internet chat rooms dedicated to high school sports that are filled with anonymous "trash talking" by students. College football games end with fights between players and drunken rampages by fans. At times, our fans have been caught up in this culture. The Gospel calls us to be counter-cultural. We need to stand up together, students and adults, and be counter-cultural by insisting on Gospel values in our high school sports.

The sports rivalries between our schools can be a wonderful gift. They can motivate students to reach beyond their limits to performances that inspire us. They can add excitement to weekend nights. But these rivalries can also become unhealthy. They can lead people to insult, dehumanize, and even injure others.

As the leaders of the high schools of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, we are united in our determination to keep all of our classrooms, including our athletic classrooms, true to the mission of Catholic schools. We expect our players and coaches to uphold the ideals of Catholic education. We expect our fans, too, to uphold these ideals by cheering loudly and passionately -- and respectfully. We expect our students and our fans to follow these guidlines:

  • No socio-economic cheers
  • No racial cheers
  • No sexual orientation cheers
  • No cheers that include personal attacks unrelated to the game.

Sincerely,

Principals of:

Seton High School
St. Xavier High School
Ursuline Academy
Badin High School
McNicholas High School
Moeller High School
Roger Bacon High School
Alter High School
LaSalle High School
Elder High School
Fenwick High School
Carroll High School
Lehman High School
St. Ursula Academy
Chaminade-Julienne High School