WIAA increases penalty for fans ejected from athletic contests

Local News

Wis. (WLAX/WEUX) – The WIAA has imposed a harsher penalty for fans who are ejected from high school sporting events.

In the past, if a fan was thrown out, they would miss the remainder of that game. Under the new rule, the ejected fan will also miss the following game or contest.

Elise Romas spoke to officials about the problems that have prompted this change.

Ken Koester is an official and an advocate with the National Association of Sports officials in Wisconsin. He’s talking about the WIAA’s new fan ejection rule that applies to all high school sporting events.

Koester said, “Now maybe, if they’re going to miss that next game, they think twice about it, they don’t do it.”

Fans tossed out of games will miss the remainder of that contest and now the following game.

Ken Koester, Naso Wisconsinsin said, “We don’t have enough officials right now in any sport and a lot of that, our numbers show is from fan behavior.”

The NASO surveyed more than 28 thousand of its members. 60% of those officials say they left their positions because of poor fan behavior.

Matt Watkins, parent said “I think parents should be held responsible and accountable.

Watkins’s son plays JV baseball at Sun Priarie High School. Watkins says he’s seen bad sportsmanship firsthand.

Watkins said, “I remember a basketball game a few years ago, it was pretty evident the ref missed a call, but a parent went out on to the court and that was pretty inexcusable.”

By making a harsher penalty, Koester hopes spectators will think twice.

Koester said, “But this is for the behavior that’s crossing the line, that’s over the top, that is just not reflective in our scholastic athletics and it needs to be addressed “

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