OSSAA tightens rules for fan and coach behavior
(KTEN) — High school football season is almost here, but before fans get back to filling grandstands across Oklahoma, there are new guidelines regarding sportsmanship.
The Oklahoma Secondary School Activities Association has regulations to enforce strict rules aimed at preventing fights, arguments and disrespectful comments. Some of the rules include:
"A student who is disqualified during a game or contest because of a flagrant or unsportsmanlike conduct shall be ineligible. A disqualified student shall remain ineligible for at least one contest before he/she is reinstated by the principal."
"A student whose flagrant or unsportsmanlike conduct consists of fighting, cursing or using foul language toward a game official will be automatically suspended from participating in a minimum of the next two regularly scheduled games..."
"Any substitute or team member who leaves the team bench (football player leaving the team box, baseball or softball player leaving the dugout, basketball player or wrestler leaving the team bench, etc.) and enters the playing area during a fight or any other serious unsportsmanlike act shall be ejected."
"I do think there needs to be something in place with some stipulations that says, 'If this happens, and if you act this way, there's a good chance you will be banned from any games or participating in any games if it is a school team or coach,'" said Kingston Athletic Director Taylor Wiebener.
The biggest unknown is: How will these rules be enforced?
"I personally never have experienced or have not seen people be too hard on the kids, but if that is happening, I hope it does stop or help prevent some of that with regulation," said local merchant Brittney Williams. "I just do not know how they are going to enforce it."
"Who is responsible for submitting this report? How is that going to be looked at?" asked Wiebener. "Obviously the OSSAA is not going to be able to be present at every game, so the ones making the decisions are not going to be the ones who saw what happened, and so I think there is a little gray area there. I am not sure how that's going to pan out."
The OSSAA says the past couple of years have seen an increase in fights and disorderly behavior, so the new regulations are trying to eliminate as much unruly behavior as possible.