NLL Sportsmanship Letter

Dear Northern Lakes League Parent / Spectator,


On behalf of the Northern Lakes League (NLL) and its eight member schools, we want to thank you for your continued support of interscholastic athletics.  Our league has a rich and storied history dating back to 1956.  Your support contributes to the ongoing success of the NLL year after year.


All Northern Lakes League schools are members of the Ohio High School Athletic Association (OHSAA).  The OHSAA is committed to serving its member schools and their student athletes in a variety of ways.  One of the OHSAA’s commitments is to honor their ultimate purpose, which is to foster lifelong values, good citi­zenship, ethics and a fair-play approach to life among student-athletes while promoting safe and sporting-like athletic environments.


The NLL needs your help to help promote these purposes.  Specifically, we need your help in promoting safe and sporting-like athletic environments.   The OHSAA has adopted the following Fan Fair Play Code:


• I will remember that young people play sports for THEIR enjoyment.

• I will have realistic expectations and will understand that doing one’s best is just as important as winning. I understand that ridiculing an ath­lete for making a mistake is not acceptable behavior.

• I will respect the official’s decisions and will encourage others do the same.

• I will respect and show appreciation for the coaches and understand that they have given their time to provide sport activities for our young people.

• I will encourage athletes and coaches to play by the rules and to resolve conflicts without resorting to hostility or violence.

• I will show respect for my team’s opponents because I realize there would be no game without them.

• I will not use bad language and will not harass athletes, coaches, offi­cials or other spectators.

• I will always show good sportsmanship. Young people learn by example.


The NLL fully supports all aspects of this OHSAA Fan Fair Play Code.  Our expectations for all our spectators is that you will abide by these points to ensure we promote a safe and sporting-like athletic environment.


Regarding our officials, there is a general concern with the recruitment and retention of officials in many of our sports.  In the last few years, we have seen an alarming number of officials retire or not renew their certifications to continue to be officials.  In some sports, it has recently gotten to the point where we are having a difficult time finding officials to officiate games across Northwest Ohio.  One of the main reasons officials are leaving is because of the verbal abuse they encounter at many athletic contests.  Please keep in mind that many our officials are very similar to you.  They maintain a full-time job and officiating is something they enjoy doing as a hobby.  Many also do it to give back to a sport that has given them something when they were growing up.  Again, our officials work extremely hard to ensure fair and safe play.  The NLL strongly encourages all our fans to treat all officials with respect before, during and after all athletic contests.


Together, we can all make a difference.  Again, the Northern Lakes League appreciates all you do for our league.  We hope that you will adhere to the OHSAA Fan Fair Play Code listed above and support our quest to make sure WE are doing everything we can to promote a safe and sporting-like athletic environment.



Richard Browne

Commissioner - Northern Lakes League

Back to School News      Print News Article