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The Value of Football

May 14, 2013 Football Working

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THE VALUE OF FOOTBALL
Sports are a vital, cultural expression of America. Sports express the American way of life along with the right to vote, the freedom of speech, and the freedom to choose schools and churches. Participation is neither compulsory nor manda – tory and is not a graduation requirement. Sports do mirror the true character of America and they are filled with vitality, ideals and opportunity. Sports at the high school level have the greatest impact. Football alone attracts more than one million participants.
Traditionally, football has played a prominent part in high school athletic programs because it provides many experiences which contribute to better citizenship and to the development of desirable character and personality traits. Participation in practice and games provides players with the opportunity to learn how to cooperate and to sacrifice individual selfish interests for the good of the team. Through football, participants learn to cooperate as members of a team by actually doing it rather than by reading or listening to lectures about it.
Competitive experiences on the football field enhances the respect for differences in people and a respect for the individual as a human being regardless of race, color, creed or social position. Participation in football can help establish the principles of good sportsmanship and fair play, while placing a premium on being in good physical condition.
Participation in athletics, especially in football, requires physical effort and sacrifice. The participants learn some physical skills such as blocking and tackling, but most important they learn to become tough mentally. Football provides many opportunities to build character under the guidance and supervision of coaches who care more about each individual than they do of enhancing their own position or reputation.
Parents and teachers can actually observe the change as youths develop into young adults while playing football. The change is especially obvious as they grow in body strength, maturity and spirit while competing as team members. Participation provides opportunities to learn lessons which cannot be learned either in the classroom or in the home.
PLAYING THE GAME
The NFHS Football Handbook is not intended to be a coaching or playing manual. The matter of playing skills, systems of offense and defense, along with game strategy, are properly left to the coaching staff. Whether an individual will become a great football player will depend upon natural skills, attitudes, willingness and ability to absorb the instructions and teaching of the coaches.
A player must remember that they cannot become proficient unless they have a working knowledge of the rules. Without rules or without proper enforcement of the existing rules, the general atmosphere of the game would be such as to prevent the use of playing skills and strategies which have been acquired. Players must know and be familiar with the rules of the game.
The rules are positive. They should not be looked upon as something negative or a long list of prohibitions or requirements which are to be broken when a game official is not looking. The reason there are rules is to prevent an opponent from using illegal tactics to deprive a player from effectively using his/her skills. For instance, it would be difficult to become a great kicker if the defense is permitted to block or tackle immediately following the kick. The rules properly discourage roughing the kicker. Similarly, becoming an outstanding linebacker would be
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nearly impossible if the rules did not prohibit offensive players from holding the defensive players to keep them from getting to the runner. The rules are to benefit all players, whether on offense or defense.
If a player cannot gain an objective or a team cannot win a game except by tactics which are unfair or unethical, then both the individual gain and the victory are empty and reflect no credit on the player or the team.
While the code attempts by rule and penalty to prohibit all forms of unnecessary roughness, unfair tactics and unsportsmanlike conduct, it is obviously impossible to list every conceivable dishonorable or unethical act which might take place. It is the responsibility of players, coaches, game officials and team supporters to maintain the highest ethical standards. Deliberately violating the rules in the hope or expectation of not being detected is deplorable and indefensible. No true sportsman will violate any of the unwritten rules which exist for the good of the game.
The spirit of the game of football lives in effective blocking, aggressive tackling, tireless pursuit, skillful running, passing and kicking, and well-planned game strategy. This positive atmosphere cannot be maintained unless the spirit, as well as the letter, of the playing rules are observed.

 

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