The WIAA rules are absurd and here’s why

Benjamin Backer, Contributor

The WIAA has crossed the line and it is time that student-athletes take a stand against it.

High school sports are fun and beneficial to success. At the same time, they are meant to be competitive. They are also supposed to prepare student-athletes for the next level: collegiate athletics.

In college, there are countless chants and anthems that each school’s student section creates. Some of them are vulgar. While those are not family-friendly or necessary for a sporting event, they are part of the atmosphere. While I do not think that those types of chants should be permitted in a high school setting, that is reality on a college level. In addition, those vulgar chants are prohibited from high schools already.

The WIAA wants to prohibit chants such as: “USA,” “you can’t do that,” “scoreboard,” “air ball,” and many others. Despite the outrage from high schoolers and adults, the WIAA has stayed true to their course. In fact, the WIAA alerted a Wisconsin high school about a student who tweeted against the policy. She was suspended from her basketball team for five games.

This is all absurd, and here’s why:

1.) Offensive? No way.

I am still waiting to hear a reasonable explanation as to why the WIAA finds the chants offensive. Is telling the opposing team that their team is losing offensive? Is chanting “you can’t do that” to a player who caused a penalty disrespectful? Is that what we, as a society, have come to? If so, what isn’t offensive anymore? The politically-correct culture in this country has gone over the top and this situation is a prime example. The ban on chants like these is why my generation is turning into a generation full of “victims.” Rules like this are teaching youth to be offended when they shouldn’t be. Not everything is offensive and rude. The WIAA obviously cannot look past that.

2.) These bans ruin competitiveness.

Chants from a student section pump up the players and the teams. No matter who is chanting, it pumps student-athletes up. If the opposing student section is chanting “you can’t do that,” it gives athletes motivation to show them what they can do. It angers us, but it also pumps us up. If the chant is from our own student-section, it gives us confidence. Having a supporting crowd with competitive chants is key to success as a team. It makes the event more competitive and ultimately more enjoyable for both teams. It’s hard enough to get students to attend sporting events, but with a rule like this, the draw to sports will be significantly less due to limited competitiveness. In fact, students will be less willing to join sports in general. If there is no competitiveness, there is no point.

3.) If WIAA does this, what is next?

Seriously. What would be next? If we can’t do these “offensive” chants to pump up the players and students, what can we do? Is WIAA going to ban signs? Are they going to ban chants all together? The WIAA might as well ban student sections. As Wisconsin sports anchor Bill Michaels said today in a Facebook post: “at this rate, why keep score?”

This is a losing battle for the WIAA and a huge dagger in the heart of Wisconsin high school sports. If they don’t reverse this policy, they don’t deserve to run high school sports in Wisconsin. This is sports, not book club. Let’s keep it that way.

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