I propose a new Gold level Sportsmanship badge. I earned the silver badge June 4th, and I continue to vote for competing answers. I would like to feel that I am working toward something, not because I would otherwise cease to vote for these answers, which clearly I have not, but because it adds to the fun of the site, just like the other badges.

Following the ratios of some other badges, since the silver is at 100, perhaps 400 votes for competing answers is a good level?

When I asked this question I was unaware that all votes for competing answers were counted, believing it was limited to the number of questions. Since in fact all votes are counted I think the threshold needs to be higher, perhaps 1000 votes as suggested by user unknown.

This feature request is fairly popular but has failed to reach critical mass. If anyone has new ideas about how this request might be changed to make it more likely to succeed please share them.

May 2016

There is renewed interest in this topic due to a similar request on Meta Stack Overflow (as well as a generous bounty just started by Josh Crozier):

The community should at least be aware of this parallel development. Perhaps that question should be migrated here and combined with this one as I believe badges are network-wide? Any missing or controversial aspects of this question could be edited appropriately.

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    Yes, but what would you call it? Super-Duper Sportsmanship? :-) – LarsTech Dec 21 '11 at 16:05
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    @LarsTech I have not given that consideration. I suppose "Gold Sportsmanship" would be redundant, but not exactly confusing. One could also go for something like "Enduring Sportsmanship" but that appears to speak more of time than volume, which doesn't match my proposal. – Mr.Wizard Dec 21 '11 at 16:08
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    Would the Lady Byng badge be too obscure a reference? – Bill the Lizard Dec 21 '11 at 16:13
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    @Bill I don't know. I had to follow the link to learn the meaning, but I hope that most on this site are not opposed to learning. It would feel funny for some reason to have Lady something on my profile. :^) – Mr.Wizard Dec 21 '11 at 16:15
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    @BilltheLizard: +1 Exactly what I was going to suggest. – Dennis Dec 21 '11 at 16:44
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    How about Olympian as a badge name? – JNK Dec 21 '11 at 17:54
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    Having Olympian as a badge name is likely to get you yelled at by the IOC. – CanSpice Dec 21 '11 at 18:13
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    As a word that is hundreds of years old, I don't think the IOC can lay claim to Olympian. However, I don't know that it conveys the correct meaning that well. I tend to think of "god-like" in some aspect or another when I read "Olympian" outside the realm of the games. – jball Dec 21 '11 at 19:09
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    Do not want. But if we get this, can we also get a Gold "PHD" badge for downvoting competing answers. – Anthony Pegram Dec 21 '11 at 19:17
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    @jball, I might be alone, but we don't need badges for everything, and behavior-encouraging badges should ultimately benefit the site in terms of adding useful content, generating views, etc. A silver badge for a benevolent yet ultimately lesser activity such as this is sufficient, in my view. – Anthony Pegram Dec 21 '11 at 19:31
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    I suggest the levels be at par with other badges (e.g. 100 and 500). For reference: S&W/CopyEditor: 80/500 Deputy/Marshal: 80/500 Electorate: 600 – Lorem Ipsum May 24 '12 at 1:56
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    Say this is implemented. What happens after you earn this badge? Will you want a new level of platinum badges to be created to further "add to the fun"? Where does it end? I don't see any benefit to the community from this, and it would further clutter up an already-noisy badge page. – Pops May 24 '12 at 2:41
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    @jball this is getting off topic, but history has shown that not having total dominion over the word "Olympian" doesn't stop the IOC from yelling. – Pops May 24 '12 at 2:45
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    @PopularDemand What happens after? The same thing we do every night, Pinky... – Mr.Wizard Aug 13 '13 at 7:56
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    Same request on Meta SO: meta.stackoverflow.com/questions/323487/… – wythagoras May 21 '16 at 11:13

12 Answers 12


First of all, I second the request.

As for the name:

Since upvoting a tremendous amount of competing answers implies that the user actually cares about the question getting answered instead of just wanting to "score" himself, I suggest Team player.

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    himself is politically incorrect! – bestsss Dec 22 '11 at 0:51
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    @bestsss: So am I. – Dennis Dec 22 '11 at 0:55
  • you mean 'team player' or politically incorrect (if the latter, it's very politically incorrect to say so, mind you) – bestsss Dec 22 '11 at 1:04
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    @bestsss: Talking about a generic user (not one in particular) is gender neutral and perfectly good English. The context makes clear that it does not necessarily refer to a male user. – Dennis Dec 22 '11 at 1:09
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    "themself" using the singular-they instead of "himself" would be gender neutral without feeling forced – Richard Tingle Aug 28 '13 at 21:14
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    @RichardTingle singular-they is a linguistic abomination. On the other hand, "team player" is a good name for this badge. – Floris Jul 11 '14 at 21:09
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    @Floris Any particular reason for that? It has a long pedigree including authors such as Jane Austin. Not to mention being incredibly useful (which ultimately should be the barometer of the language) – Richard Tingle Jul 11 '14 at 21:35
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    @richardtingle maybe it's just the way Facebook and others use "they": "it's John's birthday. Write something on their wall." - it makes me cringe! I am sure that FB has figured out the gender of their members. I believe that "he" can be used in a gender neutral sense, and that is my preference. To me, PC means personal choice. – Floris Jul 11 '14 at 23:08
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    @Floris, yes that is idiotic. Singular they should only ever be used for an uncertain or generic person. I have however never understood how "he" could ever include someone female. It's not me being PC, it's that that word explicitly refers to a male person (worse still how would you refer to a generic male person? Now that "he" has been stolen for a generic male or female person). Regardless I feel we have diametrically opposed views on this and I don't want to get into an off topic debate – Richard Tingle Jul 11 '14 at 23:48
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    The word doesn't explicitly refer to a male; similarly, man refers to both men and women. This has been the case for a very very long time - it is only relatively recently that various movements have objected vocally to this. – Rory Alsop Jul 18 '14 at 10:55

I like Corinthian spirit, but I think this is very much a British English-only phrase.

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    +1 for a British English phrase---definitely a feature, not a bug. :-D – Chris Jester-Young Dec 27 '11 at 18:52
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    I'd never heard the phrase before reading this, but that gives it an air of mystery that suits a gold badge. – senderle Jun 19 '12 at 2:30

I like it!!

How about "Not a rep Monster"?

Or, "Not A Rep Whore"

I wanted to design a badge for it but got bored and completely redesigned the gold badges.

enter image description here

(Note that the 1000 is random, I prefer 400/500)

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    Before anyone says "not enough jquery": I used jQuery+contentEditable to do this. – Manishearth Apr 3 '12 at 8:32
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    Nice. Now how does this add constructively to the conversation? I'm hoping to see this actually implemented. You're playing with JQuery. – Tim Post Apr 3 '12 at 19:12
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    This would have been perfect two days ago... – Mr.Wizard Apr 3 '12 at 22:06
  • @TimPost: Well, I wanted to design a badge-image for it, just 'cos badges look cool. And then I got a little carried away--the relevant badge is still there, just with a whole lot of other stuff. :/ – Manishearth Apr 4 '12 at 4:49
  • So the "constructive" part is the badge name and image, The rest is noise, I guess. Didn't want my jQuery to go to waste ;) – Manishearth Apr 4 '12 at 4:50
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    Well, jQuery is never wrong. Who knows what could happen? :P – Tim Post Apr 4 '12 at 8:41
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    "Self explanatory"? No, you've got some 'splaining to do. – gnostradamus May 17 '12 at 17:52
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    I think the JonSkeet badge should go to the user with the highest rep - an honorary badge, in the spirit of the emergent culture of the community. Also, let's face it - we know Jon Skeet's never going to lose the badge until he dies (even then, his existing posts might just be self sustaining enough to farm enough rep in auto-pilot mode) – inspectorG4dget Aug 28 '13 at 21:42
  • I don't think "Not a rep monster" is a good idea because we don't just want to post to earn rep. So, I propose "Competer". – new QOpenGLWidget Feb 1 '19 at 22:01

I'd call the badge "Spirit". The spirit of the site is to get all good content up to the top where it can be as useful as possible.

If you consistently up vote based on merit alone, even if it means another answer scores higher than your own, then you have the spirit of the site at heart.

And yes, I think that does deserve a gold badge. By the time someone reached ~400 - 500 votes, it means we're just rewarding someone again for consistent, desirable behavior. That's precisely what badges should be doing.

  • Thanks for your support. Do you specifically favor "Spirit" over "Corinthian Spirit" (my favorite suggestion)? – Mr.Wizard Apr 3 '12 at 22:04
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    I think either would be quite nice. I do favor "Spirit" but I'm at a bit of a loss to articulate why. I think I'd be at the same loss to explain why I like one color over another. In any event, I really hope to see it implemented. The idea sounds great to me, I hope the hardest part is deciding on the name :) – Tim Post Apr 3 '12 at 22:14

I vote for it to be called Esprit de Corps :-)


In the spirit of terms like "Fair play", the ideas of ethics and friendly competition embodied in "Sportsmanship", and just plain fun, I propose that the badge be called Good Game.

  • I was of the impression that good game has lost its original meaning in some circles and could carry with it a shade of sarcasm. – prusswan Dec 29 '11 at 3:19
  • It depends on the context and the tone used. Just like "great" can be used for "really good" and "not good at all". I think attaching the term to a gold badge would make the intention clear, but it could be a little muddy. – jball Dec 29 '11 at 7:10

I quite like "Gentlemanly Conduct" as a name - again possibly a little British, but my other suggestion, "Jolly Good Show!", might have been a little over the top.

Gentlemanly Conduct does capture the spirit of fair play and sportsmanship in a nice phrase.

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    Is there a more sex agnostic code of conduct? Maybe "Chivalry" would be the way to go? – Tim Post Apr 3 '12 at 19:14
  • Chivalry is a nice way of putting it. Not as much fun, but gets the message over. – Jon Egerton Apr 4 '12 at 8:37

I second the request, but would suggest a higher threshold, like 1000 votes.


What about "Olympic Spirit"?

those should be five free hand circles

Inspired by the answers from AakashM and Tim Post.

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    Maybe it should be a medal instead of a badge. – Marijn Aug 8 '12 at 9:00
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    Not an option, the Olympic folks are way too protective of their trademarks. It is almost ridiculous, news agencies have trouble covering the games legally. – Cody Gray Aug 29 '13 at 5:54

I really do like the incentive to vote for competing answers,

but maybe this badge is a little bit more easy to grind at than a gold badge ought to be.

There's also the room people to avoid the incentive by up-voting on questions that are weeks or months old(thus not putting their own answer in jeopardy). You might want to put some sort of time-limit on this, or only count votes that occur before the OP has accepted an answer.

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    That's probably over-thinking it a bit. Assuming we want a gold badge for this, where's the harm in older answers getting votes? – Adam Lear Mar 26 '13 at 19:56
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    @AnnaLear Well, for one, badge grinders are going to go down their list of answers, and indiscriminately up-vote every other answer in those questions, regardless whether they're good answers or not. – Sam I am says Reinstate Monica Mar 26 '13 at 19:57
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    Sam, since a Gold badge should be fairly hard to get I'm not opposed to your proposed time restriction, but if such a restriction would result in this badge not being implemented due to the additional hassle I'd rather see the badge implemented anyway, without it. – Mr.Wizard Mar 26 '13 at 20:06
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    Another possible restriction would be that your own answers each have to have a minimum score, so you cannot simply post a pile of marginal answers and upvote everything else. What do you think of that? – Mr.Wizard Mar 26 '13 at 20:07
  • @Mr.Wizard Well, if the restriction was on the answers you've upvoted, rather than the answers you've posted, that would solve the grinding issue – Sam I am says Reinstate Monica Mar 26 '13 at 20:09
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    @Mr.Wizard The badge description is "Up voted 100 answers on questions where an answer of yours has a positive score" posting an answer with a positive score might not be difficult, but it's difficult enough that you can't just repeat it on demand. – Sam I am says Reinstate Monica Mar 26 '13 at 21:59
  • @Mr.Wizard I think the confusion comes from your own idea having already been implemented – Sam I am says Reinstate Monica Mar 27 '13 at 14:29
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    +1 For "only count votes that occur before the OP has accepted an answer." that definitely requires more sportsmanship. Even more so if you upvote a competing answer above your own! – Martin Smith Aug 28 '13 at 19:46

I would go with:

Up voted 400 answers on questions where an answer of yours has a score of 3 or more

Adding the requirement to have 3+ score on your own answer is the key and wasn't suggested before as far as I can see, and it would both make it harder to gain and harder to game.

Leaving the name choosing to others. :)

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    Please say more about harder to game. If I had an answer with 3 upvotes, couldn't I just upvote all other answers which have 0 or 1 upvotes regardless of their true usefulness ... and still be ahead of them? – HansUp Aug 28 '13 at 21:35
  • @HansUp but it's not easy to get the 3 upvotes. Maybe it's just harder to gain, hmm... – Shadow Wizard is Vaccinating Aug 28 '13 at 21:42
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    Thinking about this more, the harder to gain is really my concern. My answers are in the ms-access tag family, where it's rare to get 3 upvotes. So I got no reasonable chance of ever getting the "Golden Spirit of SO" (or whatever it's called) badge. Which is too bad, because that's one of the few I would actually care much about. Whether or not I can ever get one, I like the proposal ... and that is still true if your 3 vote requirement is adopted. I'll just curse you privately. :-0 – HansUp Aug 28 '13 at 21:49
  • Well, gold badge should never be easy to get and requiring just more answers to upvote, even 1000, doesn't sound enough to me. – Shadow Wizard is Vaccinating Aug 28 '13 at 21:55
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    Difficult <> impossible. But I can't argue you're wrong. If I want that thing badly enough, I can start posting in tags where votes aren't so hard to get. But I still may curse you anyway. Cheers. – HansUp Aug 28 '13 at 21:57
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    I like this idea, at least on the surface. +1 @HansUp Unfortunately some badges just don't work form some sites/communities -- I'd love the Generalist badge but at present it is impossible on Mathematica. Likewise the Unsung Hero is pretty much never going to happen as at Mathematica people actually vote for good answers (imagine that). I'm sorry to hear of your troubles but quite honestly if its hard to get three votes on a good answer in the ms-access tag there is something wrong with that community. – Mr.Wizard Aug 28 '13 at 23:43
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    Another possibility for making this harder to gain and especially game would be only counting a maximum of n competing up-votes for each question; this would prevent someone from simply up-voting every answer in a popular thread. Values for n might be 1 to 3. – Mr.Wizard Aug 28 '13 at 23:45

Good sportsmanship doesn't require badges. If you are upvoting others' posts, you are not doing it for money, fortune, or stinkin' badges. You simply do what you feel is right.

To be rewarded for this by others on StackExchange seems as incongruous as being rewarded for something right in real life.

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    So what you actually say that we're better off without any badges. – Shadow Wizard is Vaccinating Aug 29 '13 at 6:43
  • @ShaWizDowArd - I don't care much about them, least of all for upvoting others. There may be others who do, though. But to issue badges for decent behavior is kind of weird, to my mind. – Deer Hunter Aug 29 '13 at 7:07
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    OK, let's agree to disagree then. :) – Shadow Wizard is Vaccinating Aug 29 '13 at 7:11
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    The bronze level of this would serve more as an "Oh, that's something especially encouraged" (like getting a badge for figuring out that you can open your inventory in some games). Bronze badges are more of a just-in-time 'yay you did something good' signal than a reward, often triggering at the first instance of you doing it. And you do get rewarded for doing stuff right in real life. Has no one ever said "Good job"? – Tim Post May 23 '16 at 18:06

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