Trent Shippen, the sports and Student Activities coordinator at BYU-Idaho, said the change was intended to encourage positive sportsmanship in the games played.
Shippen said sportsmanship previously has been rated on a scale of 1 to 4. Infractions and misconducts will lower a team’s score, while good sportsmanship raises it.
Shippen said the new rule is that teams start at a 3 and have the potential to increase their score to a 5 based on good conduct, whereas misconduct continues to drop their score.
“We want to be catching people doing good,” Shippen said. “We want a starting rating that helps people go higher, not just lower if they do something wrong.”
Chelsea Cross, a previous recreational sports player and a senior studying animal science, said the new rating could lead to positive change.
“I feel like it is good for people to do good things while they play the sport,” Cross said. “At the same time though, it is a game. It is competitive. It may seem like people are forced to do good things when they may feel like they are already doing ‘OK’ with sportsmanship.”
Andrew Carroll, a recreational soccer player and a sophomore studying business management, said he understands what they are trying to carry out with sportsmanship, but does not think the rating system is the best way to do it.
“I think it is over-dramatic,” Carroll said. “I think every ref and games manager has implied that as well.”
Carroll said the new rules would decrease the competitive nature of the sports.
“I think if the school wants it to be effective they need to train their employees to respect it and not belittle it,” Carroll said.
Shippen said the change reflects the goals of sports and activities — to improve confidence, self-worth, responsibility and good citizenship.