Recommended age group: 11–12
Time required: one 45–60 minute session
Equipment: Be a Good Sport resources, cones, balls for stealball.


This practical lesson will be centred on sportsmanship. Sports should be fair, enjoyable and great fun to play and watch. Young people will be playing a game of stealball (or any other competitive game) and will be challenged to show good sporting behaviour during the activity. They will have to resist the urge to cheat, make appropriate decisions, avoid arguing with opponents and play by the rules of the game. Young people will have the opportunity to showcase their sporting spirit.

  1. Divide young people into equal teams and ask each team to identify what sportsmanship is and to come up with as many different examples as they can. Each team can feed back to the rest of the class. Ask the groups to discuss what the Spirit of Sport is and if possible give examples. Again, feed back to the rest of the group.
  2. Pair and share activity – ask young people to talk to each other about if they have ever been a good sport and to give examples of what they did. Ask individuals to explain the response of anyone else involved and their feelings at the time.
  3. Now we have an understanding of sportsmanship, the Spirit of Sport and ways in which to be a good sport, write down your five top points of sportsmanship e.g. congratulating the winners, shaking hands and saying, "Good game" to opponents, and knowing what to do when they make a mistake. Other examples include cheering your own team on, keeping composure through the game, not cheating and breaking the rules of the game (lists to be written on proforma attached to a clipboard). Explain that we are going to go outside and play a competitive game with these ideas in mind.
  4. Set up and explain the rules of stealball using the stealball rules activity sheet or stealball rules PowerPoint. (This activity can also be run with any other competitive game.)
  5. During set up give a few children a non-sporting scenario/challenge to do during the game (put some extra balls in your pocket, take away one of your cones to make the game easier, don't go to jail if you are tagged, and guard the cones).
  6. Stop the games at appropriate times so young people can discuss how successful they are at playing by the rules and showing sportsmanship. Point out some/see if children can spot non-sporting behaviours that have been set up, e.g. opposing team is missing a cone. Reflect on feelings and whether the game is still fair and the Spirit of Sport/sportsmanship has been maintained.
  7. If there is an uneven number of teams, the team that is not playing can be challenged to tally up how many times they see the sporting behaviours on their lists.
  8. Young people can identify all the key characteristics of being a good sport and highlight individuals who they thought showed these characteristics. Example characteristics could be:
    • congratulating the winners
    • shaking hands and saying "good game" to opponents
    • knowing what to do when they make a mistake
    • cheering their team on
    • keeping composure through the game
    • not cheating and breaking the rules of the game.
  9. Teams can be rotated around to play new opponents.
  10. Young people could also add or adapt the rules to create a more challenging sporting match.

Lesson summary

  • Ask young people to reflect on whether the group enjoyed playing the game. Look at your list of top five points of sportsmanship: did these things occur regularly? Does that mean the rules were followed? Why? Do you think that these things are linked? Why? Encourage partner talk.
  • Ask the group to form a circle and ask young people to state something that they have done during the course of the lessons which shows their sportsmanship. If they are able to state something they can receive an Achievement badge/sticker for sportsmanship.


  • Young people can design their very own Spirit of Sport Award to give to someone who deserves some credit for displaying characteristics of a good sport.