There’s a new ban in place at high school basketball games in Wisconsin. The new rule prohibits fans from saying certain chants — that are intended to disrespect the opposing team — during game time.
Fox’s Paul Blume has more on what this all means.
Athletic administrators I talked to today see this letter as a gentle reminder about fan sportsmanship, not an all-out call to get rid of some wildly popular crowd cheers. In fact, some student athletes I met insist, bring it on.
“You got to learn they’re just trying to get in your head. And there’s nothing you can do about it but play the game.”
These New Richmond high school basketball tri-captains are ready to rock and roll for Tuesday night’s hardwood showdown with their rivals from Saint Croix Central.
Fully prepared for what happens on that first errant shot they hoist up.
“The opposing crowd starts chanting air ball, air ball. You okay with that?”
“I wouldn’t let it under my skin. I’d be frustrated with myself. Personal thing. If thin skinned individual, it’s going to get to you.”
The Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association is apparently looking to protect those thin skinned student athletes and help make all high school games generally more positive.
The WIAA recently sent out a letter to its member schools across the badger state, urging administrators to crack down on taunting type chants and cheers directed at the opposition and its fan base.
Things like “fundamentals” & “you can’t do that” when a player screws up. Or “scoreboard, scoreboard” as the clock winds down.
“Certainly we are seeing a trend in school administration of more and more negativity when it comes to athletic events. Rather than cheering for our team, cheering against the other team.”
Casey Eckardt is New Richmond’s athletic director.
He didn’t take the WIAA’s letter as a full out ban on what are very much common chants in school gyms and stadiums everywhere, though others have. Instead Eckardt is using the letter more as a reminder to his staff to not be afraid to crack down if students cross a line.
“Athletics are supposed to help us learn to deal with adversity. Not everything goes our way in athletics. We miss shots. Sometimes the other team wins. There are bad calls & all sorts of adversity. Athletics are a great opportunity to deal with adversity and criticism.”
In New Richmond, Wisconsin. Paul Blume, Fox 9.