Sporting Event Etiquette

Sporting Event Etiquette
Good sportsmanship extends to the fans, too. (RetroClipArt/Shutterstock)
Bill Lindsey

Regardless of whether your favorite sport is soccer, baseball, football, basketball, or tennis, the following suggestions will help you and those seated nearby enjoy the big game even more.

Sit Down, Stand Up

Stay seated as much as possible, but when the announcer advises everyone to stand for the National Anthem, get on your feet, take off your hat, and place your hand over your heart. Unless you are in the last row of seats, keep in mind that when you stand up during the game, you block the view of those behind you. Jumping up at an exciting play is OK, but quickly sit back down.

Be a Good Sport

You’re there to support your team, but when the other team makes a great play, acknowledge it with cheers and clapping. Stadium seats are notoriously tight, so be mindful not to hog the armrests. If you bring food or drinks to your seat, clean up after yourself. If anyone near your seat is being rude or using offensive language, don’t interact, opting instead to discreetly alert an usher.

Freebie Manners

If the home team is tossing t-shirts into the crowd, resist the urge to snag one, regardless of how many people you trample. Don’t be obnoxious, yelling at the tosser to throw one to you. If, while at a baseball game, you catch a ball that comes into the seats, be a hero by handing it to a kid who was trying his or her best to catch it.

Plan Ahead

If you find yourself seated in the middle of an aisle, use the restroom and/or get snacks either before you take your seat or during a lull in the action. If you or anyone in your party needs a bit of extra time to get settled into your seats, plan to arrive early. After the game, let others leave before you to avoid creating a delay.

Be a Paragon of Manners

Sporting events are all about fun, so enjoy yourself, be friendly, and build comradery with those around you. Keep your conversations amongst yourselves to avoid distracting those seated nearby. It is guaranteed someone will need to get past you to go grab a snack or use the restroom, so put on a smile, stand up, and be gracious as they pass and then return. Be a good example.

Bill Lindsey is an award-winning writer based in South Florida. He covers real estate, automobiles, timepieces, boats, and travel topics.
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