10 Moments in Good Sportsmanship

John Hickey searched far and wide to find the top 10 most heartwarming sports moments.

10. Adam Van Houten: the 2005 Ohio state golf championships

Adam Van Houten, a student at Mount Gilead High School in central Ohio, had just won the state golf championship. It appeared he’d won by a comfortable seven-stroke margin, but Van Houten noticed a mistake on his scorecard. His playing partner had accidentally given him a five on the 10th hole instead of a six. Since Van Houten signed his scorecard before he’d even noticed the mistake—per golf rules—he had two choices. He could ignore the mistake and win the state championship. After all, what’s one stroke in a seven-shot victory? Instead, though, he reported the violation to tournament officials and was disqualified from the competition.

—Photo woodleywonderworks/Flickrr, kevindooley/Flickr

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About John Hickey

John Hickey is studying business, marketing and the world at large. He has a passion for sports, helping others and learning the hidden subtleties of life that no one else notices.


  1. Thanks for posting this…I linked to it today from my blog…http://jbmthinks.com/2012/08/links-to-share.html/

  2. While Umaga might have done one good thing in his career he was a filthy cheat who nearly ended the career of the person who could have been the best ever rugby player just to gain an advantage

  3. Ellinoz says:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Landy – John Landy for his performance in the 1500 metres final at the 1956 Australian National Championships prior to the Melbourne Olympic Games. Stopped to help Ron Clarke who’d fallen on the track.

  4. Fantastic list! And it’s great to see an All Black make the list (I’m a proud Kiwi) although I’m sure Tana Umaga’s inclusion might make a few British rugby fans annoyed considering they blame him for a certain “malicious” spear tackle that ended Brian O’Driscoll’s Lions tour in 2005. But I think this shows what kind of a man he really is.

    • Yes you are completely right, I am very annoyed at his inclusion on this list and how can a rugby supporter call Brian O’Driscoll British. The team is called the British and IRISH Lions and anyone who watches rugby knows BOD is Irish. And it did more than end his Lions tour, he wasn’t back to his former fantastic self for at least 2 years. Sorry rant over, but 7 years on Tana Umaga is still a touchy subject in my parts!

    • What do you mean they “blame” Umaga for the spear tackle ? The choice of words seems to suggest that Umaga was possibly innocent of this premeditated and violent act which could easily have ended O’Driscoll’s career. Umaga wasn’t innocent and nether was Mealamu. The All Blacks lost a lot of respect after that incident and it is disappointing that Kiwi fans fail to admit that both players were guilty of committing a dangerous tackle on the field of play.

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  6. How about Bobby Jone’s self-reported 2 stroke penalty during a playoff in the 1925 US Open? I really think it speaks to doing what is right, even when no one is looking.

  7. Nicely done. So fine to be able to highlight the good in sports.

  8. Josephine Piccoli says:

    Nice work, John. Very moving.

  9. nice article! I teared up several times during the course of reading it.

  10. Some great moments there.

    One of my favourites, which is similar to the Di Canio one I guess is


    “Charles may have been a messy eater in those early days, but in the No 9 shirt he was both a physical colossus and a gentleman; even the fans of Juventus’ bitter city rivals Torino worshipped him.

    “I didn’t set out to win them over but in my first Turin derby I beat the centre-half but accidentally struck him with my elbow and knocked him clean out. I only had the goalie to beat but it didn’t seem fair so I kicked the ball out for a shy so the fella could have treatment.””

    The guy also managed to go his entire career without a yellow or red card card.

  11. Richard says:

    Tremendous article, on a bright spring day when our sons and daughters don’t have sports heroes to admire, this shows a great difference in what is being taught in the world today. THIS is what those dreams should be made of. How do i get a copy to my sons coaches??
    thank you!!

  12. great article

  13. Love collection of well written essays. Yes, that Cheeks moment is heartwarming and so unusual in our culture. He showed himself to be a gentleman who really “stepped up to the plate” to mix metaphors. Nice to see incidents, like a boy playing after his mom die, get the attention they deserve instead of a MLB or NFL “best of” list. Yes Lincecum is amazing, but it’s that first photo of the little boys that steals my heart.

  14. Dave Conte says:

    I also remember how Galarraga handled himself after that blown call, class act

  15. Dave Conte says:

    Great article

  16. Anthony Leblanc says:

    Great list! That Maurice Cheeks video and quote brought tears to my eyes

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