Spectators Code of Conduct


Basketball is intended to be a recreational activity for enjoyment and health. This code of conduct has been developed by Basketball Victoria to give participants some guide to the expectations it has on those participants. It is intended to assist everyone to obtain the maximum benefit and enjoyment from their involvement in basketball. As a result, the quality of participation will be improved so people are more likely to start and continue their involvement in basketball. Enjoy!!

Remember that most people play sport for enjoyment.
People are not playing basketball for the entertainment of spectators nor are many of them professionals. You should be watching basketball for your own enjoyment and to show support for those playing. Help the players to enjoy their game. Applaud good performances from each team. Congratulate all players regardless of the outcomes.

Accept decisions of all referees as being fair and called to the best of their ability.
Referees and officials have a difficult task to perform. You would not have a game to enjoy without them. They are there to enforce the rules of play but they cannot always be right. Accept bad calls graciously. Abuse of referees is unacceptable behaviour. Spectators who consistently dispute decisions or do not accept bad decisions are bad sports. If you disagree with a decision, accept it graciously – you cannot change it.

Always be positive in your support for players.
Never ridicule or shout at a player, particularly a young player for making a mistake during competition. Positive support for players will offer encouragement to them and most likely spur them to better things on the court.

Condemn the use of violence in any form.
Never encourage players to engage in violence or engage in it yourself. Violence has no place in basketball and strong action should be taken to discourage it.

Respect your team’s opponents, officials and spectators.
Without your team’s opponents, there would be no game. Their supporters are there to enjoy the game as much as you are. Light-hearted banter with an opposing spectator can add a further element of fun to a game. Conversely, nasty or inappropriate behaviour or remarks will seriously distract from it.

Encourage players to obey the rules and to accept decisions of officials.
Often players can get carried away when spectators become enthusiastic or heated over an issue. This can be a positive but it can also be a negative when it involves such behaviour as disputing decisions. Always encourage players to obey the rules and do not dispute referees’ decisions.

Demonstrate appropriate social behaviour by not using foul language or harassing players, coaches or officials.
Anti social behaviour such as foul or abusive language has no place in basketball. If others engage in it, just ignore them – they will soon tire of it if they get no attention. Alternatively, ask them politely to desist. If it continues and it is serious, bring it to the attention of an official.

Respect the rights, dignity and worth of every person.
Regardless of their gender, ability, cultural background, religion or other factor irrelevant to the game, all persons connected with basketball are entailed to equal treatment and respect. Avoid any remarks that could be construed as offensive or discriminatory. Sometimes even a joke may give offence. Even if a person refers to themselves with a particular label, it should not be taken as an invitation for you to do so. Using discretion is imperative and it is better to err on the side of caution.

Keep children in your care under control.
Basketball encourages you to bring your children to games. However, there can be dangers to them in a basketball stadium. They can also constitute a danger to players. You should ensure that children with you at a basketball game are well behaved and do not wander onto to too near to courts. They can easily be knocked down by a player or a player can trip over a child when concentrating on the play and not expecting a small child to be in the way.

Always respect the use of facilities and equipment provided.
Facilities and equipment cost money and will only function properly if kept in good order. Ensure that you do not abuse anything provided for use. Do not encourage players to engage in dangerous practices such as hanging off hoops or “slam dunking”. Quite properly, these practices are banned in most venues. Not only can equipment be damaged but also serious injury can occur.