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The Respectful Spectator Hero Label

The Respectful Spectator

    Sporting events are fantastic! (We're football/hockey fans here are Emily Post - GEAUX SAINTS! GO PATS! and Go UVM Men's Hockey Catamounts!) Attending a big game or match up surrounded by fans (or foes), the cheering, the food, the facepaint - it's wild! And it is so easy to get caught up in the emotion of the moment and before you know it, you're calling the ref words you've never even heard. No body wants to be that person - at least no body who is trying to exhibit good behavior that is. It's okay to get lost in the positive moments when you're at the game: that stunning save, the impossible catch, the scoring point for your team! (WOO HOO!) But here are some tips to keep you and your behavior in good stead when you're at the game.

  • Be patient as you walk to your seat, taking care not to jostle or shove anyone. Walk slowly with the crowd, not barging or even sneaking through it at a faster pace. This is true whether you are arriving and getting to your seat, hopping up for refreshments or the restroom and when exiting after the game.
  • When vendors come hawking sodas or snacks in the stands, raise your arm to signal that you wish to purchase something rather than shouting, "Over here!" Be sure to say thank you to anyone who passes your food or payment to help you out. 
  • When a large group of spectators rises and blocks your view, go with the flow and stand. If only one or two people are standing in front of you, be polite, rather than frank: "Down in front!" will likely raise hackles, while "Would you mind sitting so that we can see?" usually won't.
  • Watch your language and your gestures. Obscenities in public are by nature offensive, no matter how free-spirited the atmosphere. Remember, referees, coaches and players are people, too! Avoid being downright nasty or rude if you disagree with a call or play. The same is true with our gestures, giving the field the finger or other gestures that correspond with obscenities or vulgarity is absolutely not good spectator etiquette. 
  • Cheer your heart out when your team is playing well, but don't be so loud or gloating that your behavior becomes obnoxious. Be sure give props when they are due to the other team too. 
  • At events where extreme concentration is necessary, (golf tournaments, tennis matches, billiards, or even chess) respect the competitors' need for quiet. Don't be the person who shouts "In the hole!" from the tee box of a par 5 - or worse, gets too excited and shouts "In the hole!" in the player's back swing on a putt!