So while people are compiling things, and in light of the really awful crap of the last few weeks, how about a list of really good moments in quizbowl sportsmanship? A couple years back, Lee Henry was running the Alabama NAQT state championship, and at the end of pool play, KDS DAR had a record of 7-1, while Hoover had a 6-2 record. Hoover had beaten DAR head-to-head, but the tournament rules had said that if there was a clear leader at the end of pool play, there would be no playoff. DAR had never won a state title, and did not have to do it, but when Lee went to Matt Dennis, the coach, and to his team and asked them if they wanted to declare victory without a championship playoff, they decided that they didn't want to claim the state title unless they had beaten all the other teams at the tourney to do it. They agreed to play an advantaged final against Hoover that they never had to play, and they lost both matches.
As we got to the end of the second match, and Hoover pulled away, the pain on the faces of the KDS team was obvious. They had given away their state title in pursuit of real sportsmanship. The Hoover players could see it, and as soon as the game was over, they came over to me and asked me if they could declare the state championship a joint title, since DAR had really already won, and had only lost the title because they tried to do what was right. I have never been prouder to be a coach than at that moment. What happened that day would likely never have happened in any other competitive activity, and while it may have bent the rules a bit, it was to me a great capsule of everything that quizbowl has ever meant to me as player or coach.
Coach, Hoover High School, Hoover, AL