When CIAC launched the Class Act Sportsmanship Program in 2016 there were two primary goals. The first was working with students at our Sportsmanship Conference and with great input from ADs to establish a set of consistent standards for acceptable fan behavior that schools strive to follow as Class Act Schools. Maybe more critical was the hope that by choosing to be a part of the voluntary program and creating the Class Act Councils that schools would empower their students to have a direct role in improving the culture of sportsmanship at their schools.
CIAC is excited with the growth of the program, as currently 122 member schools have currently opted in to the voluntary endeavor. However the recently revamped CIAC Sportsmanship Committee — which is comprised of principals, athletic directors, coaches, officials, and current student-athletes — feels the continuing expansion of the initiative to see more schools sign on will spark continuing sportsmanship improvements.
Complete information about the Class Act Program can be found at CIACsports.com/Classact which includes a list of all the schools that have signed up, sportsmanship standards, best practices, resources, and more.
CIAC staff have heard from its membership that in many cases the implementation of the Class Act program has substantially improved sportsmanship, and the general spirit and community around the athletics program. In many cases it has actually decreased the burden on athletic directors or athletic staffs because the kids do the legwork and the student fans and parents respond to their commitment. Schools don’t need grandiose plans or a big time investment to become a Class Act School. All they need are a few students who are interested in taking on a leadership role in trying to improve and address sportsmanship challenges.
There is no assumption of sportsmanship perfection for Class Act Schools. And just signing up does not require a school to magically show progress overnight. The Class Act program isn’t about a fictional world where sportsmanship challenges never occur, it’s about engaging students to find creative ways to improve sportsmanship at your school and involving them in working towards solutions when problems do occur.
We hope you will consider getting your school involved with this unique program. Schools can sign up now in the CIAC Eligibility Center.