(or unsporting behaviour
, or archaically ungentlemanly conduct
) is a term used in many professional sports
to refer to a particular player or team who have acted inappropriately and/or unprofessionally in the context of the game. Such behaviour is not necessarily illegal according to the sport in question's rules, but is frowned upon by the vast majority of both players and spectators. The term is distinct from cheating
in that it also includes conduct meant to incite others. The official rules of many sports include a catch-all provision whereby a competitor may be penalised or otherwise cited for unsportmanlike conduct. This provision allows sports officials to sanction a competitor for offenses which do not violate a specific rule, but are not considered to be in the spirit of the competition.