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Posted in: General

The "3 cheers" after every game

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  • CRW5252

    Hi everyone,

    I have just come back from coaching my U7's football team. Once the game finished, the opposition manager did a "3 cheers for the opposition" chant. I didn't initiate a chant back as I didn't realise it was expected of me to do this. The opposition manager then had a go at me for not doing the chant back and was saying I was being disrespectful. He said after 20 years of coaching he has never experienced a team that hasn't done this.

    This is my first season as a coach so I honestly didn't realise this was a done thing (I remember it vaguely back when I played youth football). My first 3 games managing the team there was no chants hence why I didn't expect it. I appreciate this isn't really the most important thing in the world but just don't want to come across as disrespectful in the future!

    What is the etiquette regarding this? Is it the home team that should initiate the chant and then the away team repeat it?

    Many thanks, any help is appreciated.  

  • andrewb62

    Used to do this in adult (amateur) football...but I packed up 25 years ago.

    I‘ll ask around the Club - someone will remember.

  • andrewb62

    The power of twitter - asked the question, and already have an answer.

    “3 cheers” after the game is still performed in the Southern Amateur League (adult, amateur, Saturday afternoon); I am told that there is no formal protocol, but that the winning team normally start the cheers, with losers responding.

  • KarenPrice

    I wager it goes all the way back to Tom Brown's schooldays and gentlemanly conduct. I hope it continues! 

  • Yugomexfralia

    The right thing to do is to Teach your players to shake hands and genuinely congratulate and thank the opposition for the game. 

  • andrewb62

    Hi Sasha

    I don’t know what sport you coach, but I do wonder if encouraging young players to follow the example of professional football (soccer) players is the way to go.

    Pro footballers will shake hands with opponents and officials before and after the game, but I don’t really see much *respect* in the gesture - it has been mandated, and comes across (to my admittedly highly cynical eyes) as an almost meaningless PR gesture.

    “3 cheers”, at least, is not tainted by association with the professional game.

    In case this comes across as an anti-soccer rant, by the way, my own sport, cricket, has a similar issue. Even at 5th XI standard, we now line up to shake hands with the opposition after a game...even when they have sledged and cheated for the previous 6 hours, and we haven’t shared a single civil word in all that time. Very little respect, there, regrettably.

  • Yugomexfralia

    Hi Andrew,

    regardless of the sport, the handshake is a gesture of peace and respect which goes back thousands of years.

    i did say ‘meaningful’ in my post. That part is taught by leaders, parents and coaches- I would never blame the player for not shaking. Hands ‘meaningfully’.. 

    as for ‘sledging and cheating’ that responsibility sits within the consciousness leaders of the ‘sledgers and cheaters’ and officials.

  • andrewb62

    I do agree on the need for meaningful respect, and the responsibilities of coaches and others to educate young players...just not sure that the handshake always demonstrates this, any more.

  • Yugomexfralia

    Hey Andrew,

    Agreed. There are way too many ‘limpy’ handshakes for sure! Eye contact and body language go hand in hand with a genuine handshake. It’s us adults that lead by example.

  • Coach_Browning

    Dont think that there is a specific rule/guideline over this. 

    In an old team after every match it would be three cheers for (in order):

    1) The opposition

    2) Their sideline

    3) Our sideline

    4) the refs

    5) ourselves

    The league I am in now doesn't do cheers. However we will line up at half way. Both teams then walk across the field and every player thus shakes the hand of every other play (and coach). along the way everyone will say "good game", "well done", good luck in your next games", or if a player did something in particular note that.

    My point is therefore that there should be some form of respect after the game for the game that has been played, however, you choose to do it. 

    for yourself, I would just be aware of what might happen and be ready after the game to arrange it. Have a plan as to what you want to do ready. 

    This could be something as simple as just making sure that every player shakes the hand of their opposition. Given their age, this will need to be led by you (as they will wander off and find any distraction) and you can reinforce why as they are doing it. 

    What I will say though, is it is (in my opinion) always nice to reciprocate. So if a team randomly does some cheers then jsut gather your team together and do it back. 


    Hi all, some really good discussion here. Here are a few observations on my part:

    1. Connor, it is clear from your message that there is no way you were being disrespectful. If anything the ‘experienced’ coach failed to call on his 20 years by (a) not making you aware of his expectations before the game. (b) not showing any level of empathy by recognising that you were new to coaching. He needs reminding that every coach started as ‘inexperienced’. (c) not keeping to The FA Respect guidelines https://www.thefa.com/get-involved/coach/respect/we-only-do-positive (10 year anniversary this season) by following the “We Only Do Positive”  strap line.

    2. After teaching Secondary PE and coaching at a variety of levels for the past 25 years I have recently returned to coach an U10 Grassroots team. We always aim to shake hands before the game to set the tone for the MatchDay environment. If the coach for the other team is positive about this then the children follow suit, which reaffirms that the adults set the tone and example.

    3. At the end of the game I request, in agreement with the other coach, that the children repeat the handshakes and this time accompany it with 3 cheers. We do this by the parents/spectator sideline so that the adults can applaud both teams as a sign of respect that the children have played with commitment, teamwork, skill and respect.

    I hope these thoughts help.

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