A Student Athletes Response To The WIAA 'Request'

As most people have probably heard by now, the Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association, or the WIAA. Sent out an email to all its member schools, asking the schools to try to prevent "chants by student sections directed at opponents and/or opponents’ supporters that are clearly intended to taunt or disrespect ."

I remember going to high school games when I was in elementary school and hearing the student sections yelling and cheering back and forth at each other. I thought it was the best thing ever, and I couldn't wait to be a part of it. Thankfully I'm now in college, so this new "request" doesn't affect me, but it affects my old team, and my friends still on that team.

I played basketball all 4 years of high school, 2 years on varsity, and I can tell you that as players we thrive off the energy of the crowd. Sometimes in practice we'd turn the music on high while running plays, to work on being able to communicate with loud background noises. Once we got used to it after a few minutes, we played better, the music, or cheers from the crowd, would get us going. We loved having crowds there cheering and yelling, it would help us be a better team. Now the crowds are scared silent.

The WIAA claims that there are "no new directives, no new rules, no new mandates, no new enforcement expectations." Yet, despite this, there are student sections duct taping their mouths shut, or not cheering at all, in protest.

Sure, saying "you can't do that" might offend someone. The key word there being might. Coming from a player, if I had a student section cheering at me telling me I couldn't do something, I would work my butt off to make it right. If I took a shot and air balled, and they started shouting, which has happened more times than I can count, I would work my butt off to make sure I made my next shot. And I know my teammates all felt the same.

Having the student sections there cheering made playing so much better, and the WIAA is trying to take that away because they're scared of hurting someone's feelings. If someone really gets their feeling hurt by a student section in high school, they really shouldn't be playing sports. I didn't realize that words like "airball" and "scoreboard" are so offensive that they need to be deemed "not acceptable"

Regardless of if they have no new official 'rules' they can't really enforce anything, because on the list of "unacceptable phrases' is "you can't do that".

Let kids play sports, what fan sections are cheering isn't the problem, people trying to control what other people can say is the problem. Let the players play, and the students cheer and leave it at that.

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