Forget about chanting "air ball" at the next Wisconsin high school sporting event you attend, because doing so could get you in some trouble.
A rule that's been in place since 1997 burst to life Tuesday when a student-athlete was suspended after sending a tweet to the Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association (WIAA) about her dislike of a rule that's in place to keep students from chanting anything considered taunting, disrespectful or demeaning.
Some of the chants the WIAA opposes include:
- "We can't hear you"
- "Air ball"
- "You can't do that"
- "There a net there"
- "Season's Over"
- "USA, USA"
One writer from FOX called it the "wussification of Wisconsin."
To be clear, it's up to each school to regulate any chants considered inappropriate, Wisconsin Sports Net notes.
Even clearer: The student-athlete who sent the tweet to WIAA was suspended by her school, not the WIAA. Her tweet said, "Eat (expletive) WIAA."
Minnesota's rules not that different
The biggest difference between Minnesota and Wisconsin crowd control guidelines are that Minnesota doesn't outline any specific chants, but according to the sportsmanship manual from the Minnesota State High School League (MSHSL), the following are considered forms of "unacceptable behavior."
- Disrespectful or derogatory yells, chants, songs or gestures
- Booing or heckling an official’s decision
- Criticizing officials in any way
- Yells that antagonize opponents
- Refusing to shake hands
- Blaming the loss of a game on an official, coach or participant
- Taunting or name-calling to distract an opponent
- Use of profanity
- Doing own yells instead of following lead of cheerleaders
- Hand-held signs containing derogatory language
ESPN basketball analyst Jay Bilas thinks the WIAA chanting guidelines are ridiculous, saying the "adults" making these decisions have "too much time on their hands."
Bilas then went on a Twitter rant posting a serious of sarcastic chants the WIAA would allow:
Minnesotans know taunting from student sections can get pretty cruel. In 2008, Cretin Derham Hall's Seantrel Henderson, the No. 1-rated football recruit in the country at the time, was subject to an opposing student section chanting "Hooked on Phonics" as he shot free throws during a basketball game.
Henderson, however, got the last laugh because he's now making millions in the NFL.