The Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association is trying to curb student-section chants at high school sporting events, including "Air ball!" and "Scoreboard!" with rules aimed at promoting respect.
Perhaps fans will rise up with a strident "You canâ€™t do that!" in response.
The WIAA, which has had the policy in place for years, sent out an email in December to reemphasize it, especially as pertaining to student cheers at games. But the rules only recently became news, thanks to a suspension of an athlete last week who lambasted them on Twitter.
The WIAA's 40-page Sportsmanship Guide is available online, but the December email from director of communications Todd Clark has not been made public. According to Post-Crescent Media, it conveys a message to increase fair conduct and graciousness among spectators at games. Specifically, the email says the state athletic association is seeking to reduce the "amount of chants by student sections directed at opponents and/or opponentsâ€™ supporters that are clearly intended to disrespect."
The WIAA email reportedly provided examples of now-banned chants, which included longtime favorites like "Fundamentals," "Sieve," "We canâ€™t hear you," "Air Ball," "You canâ€™t do that," "Thereâ€™s a net there," "Scoreboard" and "Seasonâ€™s over" during tournament play. (Add the obligatory clap, clap, clap-clap-clap to each for the full effect.)
This will be tough to take for high-school students, who for years have conceived of mildly offensive, surprisingly clever and amusingly inane cheers with which to (largely playfully) praise their teams and jeer the opposition. Looking back at my experience as a high school athlete and fan, these new rules â€“ besides being a total lame drag â€“ would have hurt attendance and entertainment for less-popular sports like soccer and volleyball, which benefited from a rowdier crowd element. The "scoreboard" chant, for one, is perhaps as ancient and adored as sport itself.
The first real victim of the new rules, Hilbert basketball player April Gehl, was suspended five games by her high school last week for a tweet directed at the WIAA about the changes that contained profanity â€“ although the governing body told Post-Crescent Media it did not issue the suspension nor direct the school to do so.
Clark did not immediately respond to a request for comment Monday.
Whether they like it or not, it seems, Wisconsin high-school students will just have to be more creative â€“ and constructive and encouraging! â€“ when cheering on their sports teams. Or, when think think of the new fan rules, they may just go with that one chant that concerns the excrement of male cattle.
No Talkbacks for this article.
Post your comment/review now
Disclaimer: Please note that Facebook comments are posted through Facebook and cannot be approved, edited or declined by OnMilwaukee.com. The opinions expressed in Facebook comments do not necessarily reflect those of OnMilwaukee.com or its staff.
Recent Articles & Blogs by Jimmy Carlton
Published Aug. 25, 2016
Demetrius Williams has three advanced theology degrees from Harvard Divinity School, saw racial struggles (and solutions) in Boston and has more than 30 years of ministerial experience. The pastor at Sherman Park's Community Baptist Church shared his thoughts on his neighborhood and race in Milwaukee.
Published Aug. 24, 2016
We spoke with Walnut Way executive director LaShawndra Vernon about Sherman Park, the institutional lever she's most focused on pulling in Milwaukee, false racial constructs and how hip-hop shows that, while culture isn't constrained by race, opportunity seems to be.
Published Aug. 23, 2016
"Milwaukee Talks Race" is a series of in-depth and unfiltered Q&A-style interviews on OnMilwaukee.com, starting this week. It's a way to have the conversation we keep saying we need to have, hear new voices, gain different perspectives and, hopefully, offer a platform for potential to change our city.
Published Aug. 22, 2016
The Bucks have made it official, signing free-agent shooting guard Jason Terry to add a veteran presence in the locker room and three-point shooting off the bench. The additions of Terry and Steve Novak would put Milwaukee at the 15-player maximum.
Published Aug. 11, 2016
The Umbrella Bar is the first venue of its kind in the Midwest, an outdoor, quasi-sports bar that features an open-air, tent-like structure with a 360-degree view of The Rock and plenty of activities and attractions for normal kids and "cool" (as in 21-plus) kids.
Published Aug. 10, 2016
What are the acceptable and unacceptable Brewers jerseys to wear to games? What rules constrain jersey etiquette, in terms of the garment and the individual dressed in it? When must you stop wearing a jersey, which ones are timeless and which are never OK? And is it shirsey or shirtsey?
Published Aug. 9, 2016
ESPN Milwaukee 540 AM announced on Tuesday that it will be the radio broadcast partner for Marquette University High School football this season, introducing an exclusive station-team relationship believed to be unique in this market.
Published Aug. 8, 2016
As runners increase their training in advance of the Lake Michigan Marathon on Sept. 4, they also increase their chance of injuries. But a proper warmup and cool down can dramatically reduce the likelihood of injury. Here are some tips from Athletico Physical Therapy:
Published Aug. 5, 2016
The Bucks' $524 million arena and entertainment district is a couple years from completion. In the meantime, the team has launched the WESC Preview Center, a digital and physical showcase for the new arena development. We got a first look Friday.
Published Aug. 4, 2016
We talked to Gilbert Brown about everything from his extensive charity work and anti-bullying advocacy to teammate Brett Favre's Hall of Fame induction and his thoughts on the Packers 2016 chances, as well as coaching Green Bay's lingerie football team, his love of fried chicken and why he likes Milwaukee.