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Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Backlash forces WIAA to step back from strict student section chants policy

The Prescott High School student section said everything they weren’t supposedly supposed to say according to the Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association (WIAA) during the PHS-Ellsworth boys’ basketball game in Ellsworth last week Friday, Jan. 15.

But after a nation-wide outcry against what was perceived as heavy-handed attempts to control the typical chants and cheers of student fans at winter sporting events, the WIAA appears to have backed down from specifically demanding high school athletic directors and principals ban chants such as “airball” or “scoreboard” from the lexicon of student sections.

WIAA Executive Director Dave Anderson sent a letter to member schools last week Tuesday, Jan. 12 which stated “To be clear, there has been no new directives, no new rules, no new mandates, no new enforcement expectations.”

This letter seem to undercut earlier effort to try police students sections of such chants. A memo on the topic was emailed out to member schools by WIAA Director of Communications Todd Clark on Dec. 22 asking principals and athletic directors not just to rein in unruly student sections just before upcoming holiday tournaments but offered specific examples of language to be monitored and controlled, such as “Airball!” “Scoreboard!” or “We can’t hear you!”

See more of this story in this week's edition of the Prescott Journal. On newsstands Wednesday.

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