What would it be like to attend a sporting game and be prohibited from the typical banter so commonly participated in?
At Hilbert High School in Wisconsin, many cheers that are commonly expressed at sporting events here, were banned indefinitely for being “vile,mean and nasty”.
“Air ball” and “Season’s Over” were on the Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association’s list of cheers presumed as negative.
After review of the sportsmanship observations from various sporting events, it was evidently clear to the WIAA that these cheers were a spark leading to the unnecessary degradation of the other teams and their supporters.
In response to this new rule imposed, many students reacted negatively to the restriction on which cheers they could engage in.In particular, “One student at Hilbert High School was suspended after posting on Twitter a message…‘EAT [expletive] WIAA’”.
This event caused even more uproar from the student body and violating one’s rights to express their opinion via Twitter.
Replying to the negative response from the school, the WIAA, not wanting to inhibit “creativity or enjoyment” welcomed and encouraged support expressed in a positive manner at interscholastic events.
Jay Bilas, a basketball analyst for ESPN, commented on the situation by firing back with “WIAA appropriate cheers”. Included in his list were “We cannot in good conscience pretend we want you to make this, but wish you good luck, nonetheless” and “Dear Sirs: We beg to differ, but thank you for your service to our game”.
Although the WIAA, awknowldgabley, had good intentions, “the outcome, as evidenced by the student’s immediate reaction, is likely to be less so”.
Administrators at other schools adopted the “fear the impact of the crowd’s words”, and not wanting to go down that slippery-slope, have refused any cheering at sporting events to avoid repercussions.
From a local standpoint, Adam Wong, a basketball player says “the student section provides so much energy which is a huge x-factor in close games.”
According to Wong, having a group of people dedicated to livening up the game improves performance because “Our team feeds off their energy”.
Despite the effort to combat the new set of rules being enforced on the students at Hilbert High, obliging, for now, is the necessary step to continue any cheering, at all at events.