In AYSO, good sportsmanship is expected, but exceptional sportsmanship is to be rewarded. That’s what Tim Orosz, Section 6 Referee Administrator and founder of the “Good Sportsmanship – It Starts with Me” Program believes.
Every year, AYSO Section 6 awards one recipient the “Sportsmanship of the Year Award” to someone who has shown an outstanding act of sportsmanship and that embodies the true spirit of AYSO.
Last year, a young lady from Iowa was given the award for an act rarely seen in sports. Being a more experienced player, she noticed she was up against a defender who was new to soccer. Instead of exposing this to score goals, she took the opportunity to teach the struggling defender how to defend against her and spent much of her game teaching her good defending techniques.
This year’s award is just as amazing!
First, the play: Miguel Gonzalez receives a pass from a teammate and starts to dribble his way in to the penalty box. As he maneuvers through defenders, he trips and the referee whistles for a free kick right at the edge of the box.
Shortly after the free kick is awarded, one that could have resulted in a goal for his team, Miguel approaches the referee to tell him that he actually tripped over the ball and that he can't accept the foul. The referee then rescinds the foul call, signals for a drop ball and Miguel then passes the ball back to the opposing goalkeeper to continue play. Miguel was in the midst of a decisive match in the U-19 Section 6 tournament but in this moment, his honesty and being goodhearted prevailed over the desire to win.
Miguel sacrificed the opportunity to score on a free kick and likely win the game, to show us what an exceptional act of honesty and good sportsmanship is all about.
So without further ado, meet the winner of the Section 6 2014 Sportsmanship Award: Miguel Gonzalez! Congratulations to Miguel and to Section 6 for the inspirational example of sportsmanship and role model behavior.
If you have an inspirational story to share, please forward it to firstname.lastname@example.org.