The Examination of Sportsmanship Behaviors of Beach Handball Players in Turkey

Authors: Ali Gurel Goksel * (1) Mugla Sitki Kocman University, Faculty of Sports Sciences, Turkey.
Ercan Zorba (2), Mugla Sitki Kocman University, Faculty of Sports Sciences, Turkey.

Corresponding Author:
Ali Gurel Goksel, PhD
Mugla Sitki Kocman University, Faculty of Sports Sciences
Kotekli/Mugla, 48000
aligoksel@mu.edu.tr
002522111951

(1) Ali Gurel Goksel is a research assistant in Sports Exercise Science at the Mugla Sitki Kocman University studying public relations and communications in sports.

(2) Ercan Zorba is assistant professor doctor in Sports Exercise Science at the Mugla Sitki Kocman University studying Olympic philosophy and fair play in sports.

The Examination of Sportsmanship Behaviors of Beach Handball Players in Turkey

ABSTRACT
The aim of this study was to examine sportsmanship orientation of individuals doing beach handball in terms of some variables. There were 140 athletes, 58 females and 82 males, which participated in the study group that consisted of participants of the Koycegiz Yasar Sevim Universities Beach Handball Tournament. For data collection, the Multidimensional Sportsmanship Orientation Scale, developed by Vallerand, Briere, Blanchard, and Provencher (1997) which was adapted to Turkish by Sezen-Balcikanli (2010), and a personal information form designed by the authors, were used. For the analysis of collected data, frequency analysis was used to determine socio-demographic features of the participant; and one-way analysis of variance (ANOVA) was used to determine sportsmanship orientation of beach handball players in terms of different variables. Tukey’s honest significant difference (HSD) test was used for multiple comparisons to find out which group caused the difference. The p < 0.05 significance level was considered in analysis and interpretation of the data. Consequently, statistically significant differences were found in sportsmanship orientation of beach handball players according to age, years of playing handball, and the status of playing on a team.

Keywords: Sportsmanship, Sportsmanship Orientation, Beach Handball, Athlete, Handball.

INTRODUCTION
The definition of sport includes humanized words such as sadness, sorrow, and stress as well as the terms which are worthy of human dignity such as peace, tolerance, equality, discipline, virtue, right, law, happiness, love, and respect (5). An English term, fair play, which has worldwide usage, means sportsmanship (13). Sportsmanship is widely used as a term in Turkey (11). The wide understanding of sportsmanship as a term is generally related to normative standards about social and moral relations in sport. Moreover, sportsmanship is the whole of the behaviors that is proper for spirit of sport (18), and emerged as respect showed to human honor, it has established itself in the moral principle framework of playing honestly and fairly in every step of sport (24).

Nowadays, sport is done either at a professional or amateur level. The purposes of amateur sport are participation, maintaining health, building strength, resting, entertainment, having an enjoyable time, and social interaction (14). When it is done in a professional realm, sport causes unsporting behaviors such as winning at any cost, cheating by both opponents and/or officials, for example (6). Sport educators are proud of this feature with the conscious that sport contributes to character development (4). Correspondingly, it is expected that features of sportsmanship including the features such as justice, self-control, and courage should develop (16).

Sportsmanship embodies the characteristics such as sincerity, courage, patience, self-control, self-confidence, not to disdain, respect for others’ ideas and truths, courtesy, kindness, nobility, honor, partnership, and generosity (22). Participants should decide whether they accept the referee’s decisions that provide an improper personal benefit. These decisions are the wrong application of the rules more than a referee’s whistle (18). Actually, sportsmanship becomes more important when the tension increases and winning is important. In short, sportsmanship involves the choice of ethical behaviors in success strategies (16).

Sportsmanship is defined as respect and commitment to social norms, opponents, rules, and regulations besides the absence of a negative approach to sporting participation and responsibility for sport. When the related literature is reviewed, it can be seen that the Multidimensional Sportsmanship Orientation Scale (MSOS) was used in the studies examining handball (18, 19), basketball and volleyball (4, 21), and football (9, 12, 15); moreover it is used to determine the sportsmanship orientation of individuals doing team and individual sports (1, 2, 3, 20, 26).

Because there are no studies into sportsmanship orientation of beach handball players in foreign literature and limitation of similar studies in Turkey, it is thought that the present study becomes more important. From this point of view, the aim of this study was to examine sportsmanship orientation of individuals doing beach handball in terms of some variables. Answers were sought for the following questions in accordance with this purpose:

  1. How were the scores of the scale distributed?
  2. Are there any statistically significant differences between genders in terms of sportsmanship orientation of beach handball players?
  3. Are there any significant differences according to age variables in terms of sportsmanship orientation of beach handball players?
  4. Are there any significant differences according to how many years of playing handball in terms of sportsmanship orientation of beach handball players?
  5. Are there any significant differences according to the status of playing for a team in terms of sportsmanship orientation of beach handball players?

METHODS
Type of Research
This study was conducted by the participation of athletes competing in the Koycegiz Yasar Sevim Universities Beach Handball Tournament between 8 and 12 July 2016 by using a descriptive survey model. This type of survey model is a research approach aiming to find out if there is an existing or past condition. The case, person, or object in the study is defined without changing or intervening the condition (8).

Population and Sample
Approximately, 400 athletes written in a squad list of the teams participated in the Koycegiz Yasar Sevim Universities Beach Handball Tournament organized between 8 and 12 July 2016 in Turkey. The sample group consisted of 140 volunteer athletes, 58 females and 82 males, which participated in the Koycegiz Yasar Sevim Universities Beach Handball Tournament. There were 17 of 157 data that were not considered to be evaluated because of missing items and incorrect filling.

Data Collection Tool
For data collection, MSOS was developed by Vallerand et al. (1997) and adapted to Turkish by Sezen-Balcikanli (2010), and the personal information form designed by the authors were used. MSOS has 20 items and 4 subscales (Respect for social conventions, respect for rules and officials, respect for one’s full commitment toward sport, and respect and concern for the opponent) and a 5-point Likert scale (5 = Strongly agree, 4 = Agree, 3 = Partially agree, 2 = Disagree, 1 = Strongly disagree) was used. The highest score to get from using this scale is 100 and the lowest score can be 20. The personal information form designed by the authors was used to determine variables such as age, gender, how many years playing handball, and the status of playing for a team.

Cronhach’s alpha internal consistency score was found to be 0.908. Scale reliability is interpreted depending on alpha consistency as (7):

  • 0.00 ≤ alpha ≤ 0.40 => the scale is not reliable
  • 0.40 ≤ alpha ≤ 0.60 => the scale has low level of reliability
  • 0.60 ≤ alpha ≤ 0.80 => the scale is fairly reliable
  • 0.80 ≤ alpha ≤ 1.00 => the scale has high level of reliability

As a result, it can be said that the scale has a high level of reliability being .908.

Data Analysis

For the analysis of the data collected from athletes that participated in the Koycegiz Yasar Sevim Universities Beach Handball Tournament, frequency analysis was used to determine social-demographic features; a t-test was used to determine the differences between gender and about playing for a team, the one-way analysis of variance (ANOVA) test was used to determine the difference between ages and the number of years playing handball. By using Tukey’s honest significant difference (HSD) test, multiple comparisons were used to find out which group caused the difference. A p < 0.05 significance level was considered in analysis and interpretation of the data.

RESULTS
Tables including demographic analysis of gender, age, years of playing handball, and playing for a team are presented in this section.

Table 1. Distribution of participants according to demographic features

Demographic Variables

 

Percentage

Frequency

Gender

Female

41.4%

58

Male

58.6%

82

Age

Between 18-20

35.0%

49

Between 21-23

35.7%

50

24 and over

29.3%

41

Number of  years playing handball

Between 1-5

35.0%

49

Between 6-10

37.1%

52

11 years and more

27.9%

39

Playing for a team

Yes

50.0%

70

No

50.0%

70

Distribution of beach handball players participated in the study according to demographic features has been shown in Table 1. There were 58 female participants (41.4%), and 82 of them were male (58.6%). When 140 beach handball players were divided into groups, 49 athletes were between 18-20 years (35.0%), 50 of them were between 21-23 years (35.7%), and 41 of them were 24 years and over (29.3%). When athletes were asked how many years they played handball, it was found that 49 of the participants reported playing handball between one and five years (35.0%), 52 of them reported between six and 10 years (37.1%), 39 of them reported over 11 years and more (27.9%). When the participants were asked whether they played for a team, it was seen that there was equality between the answers of yes and no. When the question regarding how many years participants had played handball, it was found that 49 of them reported they played between one and five years (35.0%), 52 of them reported between six and 10 years (37.1%), 39 of them reported 11 years and over (27.9%).

Table 2. Distribution of scale scores

 

N

Min.

Max.

X

σ

Skewness

Kurtosis

MSOS

140

35.00

99.00

4.19

0.59

-1.823

4.222

Collected data was analyzed and the scores that athletes got from the scale were displayed in Table 2. The scores of average, standard deviation, minimum, and maximum were found to be 4.19, 0.59, 35.0, and 99.0 respectively. It was seen that collected data had normal distribution according to skewness and kurtosis scores (Table 2).

Table 3. Differences between genders in terms of MSOS scores (t-test analysis)

Subscales

Gender

N

X

σ

t

p

Respect for social conventions

Male

82

4.256

0.884

-1.984

.021*

Female

58

4.503

0.590

Respect for rules and officials

Male

82

3.992

0.811

-2.471

.012*

Female

58

4.279

0.560

Respect for one’s full commitment toward sport

Male

82

4.156

0.811

-2.744

.001*

Female

58

4.455

0.472

Respect and concern for the opponent

Male

82

4.039

0.841

.258

.371

Female

58

4.003

0.747

Differences between genders in terms of respect for social conventions, respect for rules and officials, respect for one’s full commitment toward sport and respect and concern for the opponent were displayed in Table 3. While no significant difference was found between genders in terms of respect and concern for the opponent (p > 0.05), significant differences were found between genders in terms of respect for social conventions (p < 0.05, t = -1.984), respect for rules and officials (p < 0.05, t = -2.471), respect for one’s full commitment toward sport (p < 0.05, t = -2.744).

Table 4. Differences between age groups in terms of MSOS scores (one-way ANOVA)

Subscales

Age groups

X ± σ

F

p

Respect for social conventions

Between 18-20

4.457 ± 0.698

.906

.407

Between 21-23

4.364 ± 0.720

24 and over

4.234 ± 0.939

Respect for rules and officials

Between 18-20

4.138 ± 0.666

.485

.617

Between 21-23

4.032 ± 0.717

24 and over

4.175 ± 0.822

Respect for one’s full commitment toward sport

Between 18-20

4.404 ± 0.590

1.420

.245

Between 21-23

4.260 ± 0.631

24 and over

4.156 ± 0.886

Respect and concern for the opponent

Between 18-20

4.024 ± 0.752

.353

.703

Between 21-23

3.960 ± 0.747

24 and over

4.102 ± 0.925

Differences between age groups in terms of MSOS scores were displayed in Table 4. According to analysis, no significant differences were found between age groups in terms of subscales of MSOS (p > 0.05).

Table 5. Differences between years of playing handball in terms of MSOS scores

Subscales

Years

X ± σ

F

p

Post hoc

Respect for social conventions

Between 1-5

4.506 ± 0.549

2.251

.109

 

Between 6-10

4.373 ± 0.841

11 years and more

4.153 ± 0.917

Respect for rules and officials

Between 1-5

4.306 ± 0.556

4.109

.018*

Between 1-5 >
11 years and more

Between 6-10

4.111 ± 0.712

11 years and more

3.866 ± 0.875

Respect for one’s full commitment toward sport

Between 1-5

4.453 ± 0.491

4.783

.010*

Between 1-5 >
11 years and more

Between 6-10

4.323 ± 0.591

11 years and more

4.005 ± 0.961

Respect and concern for the opponent

Between 1-5

4.293 ± 0.700

5.206

.007*

Between 1-5 >
11 years and more

Between 6-10

3.961 ± 0.764

11 years and more

3.769 ± 0.882

Differences between years of playing in terms of MSOS subscales were shown in Table 5. According to the results, while no significant difference was found between years of playing handball with regards of respects for social conventions (p > 0.05), statistically significant differences were found between years of playing handball with regards of respect for rules and officials (p < 0.05, F = 4.109), respect for one’s full commitment toward sport (p < 0.05, F = 4.783), respect and concern for the opponent (p < 0.05, F = 5.206).

Table 6. Differences between yes and no responses to playing for a team in terms of MSOS scores

Subscales

Playing for a team

N

X

σ

t

p

Respect for social conventions

Yes

70

4.211

0.882

-2.256

.021*

No

70

4.505

0.642

Respect for rules and officials

Yes

70

3.908

0.842

-3.411

.000*

No

70

4.314

0.530

Respect for one’s full commitment toward sport

Yes

70

4.191

0.833

-1.493

.003*

No

70

4.368

0.539

Respect and concern for the opponent

Yes

70

3.842

0.871

-2.741

.011*

No

70

4.205

0.683

Differences between yes and no responses to playing for a team in terms of MSOS subscales were displayed in Table 6. Significant differences were found in athletes playing for a team versus those having no team in terms of MSOS subscales (p < 0.05).

DISCUSSION
Results of the analysis were discussed in this section. Cronbach’s alpha value was found to be 0.90 and this value showed that the scale had high reliability level in this study. Balcikanli (2010) found Cronbach’s alpha value as 0.88. This result is parallel to our findings. Statistically significant differences were found between genders in terms of respect for social conventions, respect for rules and officials, respect for one’s full commitment toward sport in favor of females. With their study of athletes doing handball and football, Coulomb-Cabagno and Rascle (2006) suggested that male athletes had a higher level of aggression than females. In another study, Tsai and Fung (2005) stated that females adopted sportsmanship more than males. It can be inferred that these are the results of emotional characteristics of female athletes when compared to males.
No significant difference was found between age groups with regards to sportsmanship orientation. In their study of athletes from team sports, Gurpinar and Kursun (2013) found no significant differences between age groups in terms of “respect for social conventions” and “respect for one’s full commitment toward sport.” However, Gurpinar and Kursun (2013) observed that statistically significant differences were found between age groups in terms of “respect for one’s full commitment toward sport” and “respect and concern for the opponent” in favor of participants who are 21 years old or over, which is a different result from this study. The difference between these two studies can stem from the branch differences between the participants, because they have different rules, fields, and requirements for winning, even though they are all team sports.

When years of playing handball was examined in terms of sportsmanship orientation, it was found that participants playing handball for less than five years reported higher scores than those playing handball for 11 years and more. Statistically significant differences were found between years of playing handball in terms of respect for rules and officials, respect for one’s full commitment toward sport, respect and concern for the opponent. It can be said that sportsmanship orientation decreases while years of playing handball increases. It can also be inferred that athletes may have lower rewards in early ages, correspondingly they may adopt fair behaviors. In later ages, with the increment of rewards, they may replace fair behaviors with unfair ones to get the highest reward. Gurpinar and Kursun (2013) found similar results with this study. They found that athletes competing between one and nine years reported higher level of sportsmanship behaviors than those competing for 10 years and more. It is possible to say that sportsmanship behaviors tend to disappear when expectation of success becomes greater.

A statistically significant difference was found between athletes playing for a team and those having no team to play for in terms of respect for social conventions, respect for rules and officials, respect for one’s full commitment toward sport, and respect and concern for the opponent in favor of those playing for a team. Shugge (2011) found significant differences between licensed athletes and normal participants in terms of “respect and concern for the opponent.” Handball is a team sport in which players compete against each other and are in close contact during games. Despite this, athletes playing for a team reported higher scores than others. It can be said that playing for a team, participating in competitions can provide individuals an environment to learn sportsmanship, unless a reward is not the main concern. Senel and Yildiz (2016) compared sportsmanship orientation of students doing team and individual sports with those having no branches. They found that students doing team and individual sports reported a higher level of sportsmanship orientation than those having no sporting branches such as boxing, football, basketball, and volleyball.

CONCLUSION
Although it is recently expected that sport should contribute to physical, mental, and spiritual development of individuals, it becomes a platform to learn and display unethical sporting behaviors from time to time. Basic attitudes and behaviors in terms of sportspersonship have lost their importance because of these applications and the idea of “winning at all cost” has come into prominence (11). This situation, which can be accepted to some extent in the professional realm, unfortunately shows similar tendencies in school and university sports, and even rule violation is assessed in tactical ways not necessarily morally (25).

Sportspersonship includes features such as sincerity, courage, patience, self-control, self-esteem, not to underestimate others, respect for others’ ideas and truths, kindness, nobility, honor, partnership, and generosity. The International Sportsmanship Association, founded in 1926 to spread principles of sportspersonship with all aspects of life from childhood games to international contests, suggested eight principles to develop sportspersonship:

  1. Follow the rules
  2. Stay connected to your teammates
  3. Keep yourself in shape
  4. Manage your anger
  5. Avoid violence in your game
  6. Do not boast when you win
  7. Do not fall apart in defeat
  8. Be solid-spirited and open-minded for a healthy body. (Keating, 2007).

This study is important because there is no research in which sportspersonship in beach handball players is examined in Turkey.

RECOMMENDATION
The following recommendations have been given for managers of beach handball, sport educators, coaches, rule makers of beach handball, and researchers planning to design sportspersonship studies:

  • This study can be conducted with the participation of athletes competing in different branches.
  • It is important to raise awareness among students at any level by educating them in terms of tolerance, ethics in sport, and sportspersonship in all educational institutions.
  • Lectures having issues about psychological and sociological aspects of sports should be compulsory in universities.
  • In future studies, sportsmanship orientation of athletes doing team and individual sports can be compared.
  • Factors which are related to ethics in sport, such as fair-play behaviors, prosocial and antisocial behaviors in sport, and moral identity can be correlated with sportsmanship orientation.

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