What Is the Oath of Sportsmanship?

The oath of sportsmanship is a pledge by the participating athletes that they promises to play fairly and obey all of the rules governing that event. This oath is given prior to the start of a sporting event such as the Olympics.

The oath of sportsmanship for the Olympics athletes is as follows:

“In the name of all the competitors I promise that we shall take part in these Olympic Games, respecting and abiding by the rules which govern them, committing ourselves to a sport without doping and without drugs, in the true spirit of sportsmanship, for the glory of sport and the honor of our teams.”

In the Olympics, this oath is recited by one athlete from the host country while holding a corner of the Olympic flag during the opening ceremony of the Olympic Games.

Not all sports have oaths, and not all oaths are the same. Another example of a typical oath of sportsmanship is: “I (state your name) do solemnly swear that in joining the (name of event) shall abide by its rules and regulations, subscribe to the true spirit of sportsmanship, promote happy fellowship and camaraderie. To help me attain this pledge, I shall be guided by the dictum ‘when the great scorer pens your name, he writes not, if you won or lost, but how you played the game’. So help me god.”

Although many athletes take the oath of sportsmanship very seriously there are some that see it as just a formality.