Beyond academics, parents, teachers, and coaches frequently remark how highly effective the Math Pentathlon Program is in fostering good sportsmanship. While learning how to play the games, students work in cooperative groups of four in order to communicate their ideas and strategize together as team members. Critical features of Teamwork include being respectful of others’ ideas as well as celebrating not only one’s own achievements, but also those of other team members. This cooperative spirit is seen many times throughout Tournament Season when Pentathletes who did not receive medals, still enthusiastically applaud the efforts of their school team members that did.
Another respectful demonstration of Good Sportsmanship that we suggest for both club and classroom use is for students to shake hands both before and after each game. We implement this policy at all of our National Academic Math Pentathlon Tournaments. Encouraging students to learn how to Win with Humility and Lose with Dignity is stressed as an important “Life Lesson.”