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Spectator Conduct

Students Cheering at the WPIAL Basketball Championship at the Petersen Events Center

Board Policy

The Board recognizes that the safe participation of students in extracurricular activities and the conducting of events in as safe a manner as possible for students, coaches / sponsors, staff and spectators alike requires the cooperation of all individuals involved in the program including the parents / guardians and friends of the students. It shall be the policy of the Board, therefore, to exclude from an such program or event any student, coach / sponsor, staff member, parent / guardian, or spectator who behaves or acts in any manner so as to cause, or whose participation directly or indirectly causes the disruption of a program or event or places any person participating in or attending any such program or even in a dangerous situation.

Spectator Guidelines for Behavior

  • Remember that you are at a Contest to support and cheer for your Team and to enjoy the skill and competition; not to intimidate or ridicule the other Team and its fans.
  • Remember that interscholastic athletics are a learning experience for students and that mistakes are sometimes made. Praise student-athletes in their attempt to improve themselves as students, as athletes, and as people as you would praise a student working in the classroom.
  • A ticket is a privilege to observe the Contest, not a license to verbally assault others and be generally obnoxious.'
  • Learn the rules of the Contest so that you may understand and appreciate why certain situations take place.
  • Show respect for the opposing players, coaches, spectators, and support groups. Treat them as you would treat a guest in your own home.
  • Respect the integrity and judgment of Contest officials. Understand that they are doing their best to help promote the student-athlete, and admire their willingness to participate in full view of the public.
  • Recognize and show appreciation for an outstanding play by either Team.
  • Refrain from the use of any controlled substances (alcohol, drugs, tobacco, etc.) before, and during Contests, and afterwards on or near the site of the Contest (i.e. tailgating).
  • Use only those cheers that support and uplift the Teams involved.
  • Recognize and compliment school and athletic administrators for their efforts in emphasizing the educational benefits of interscholastic athletics and the role of good sportsmanship to that end.  Be a positive role model through your own actions and by censuring those around you whose behavior is unbecoming.

PIAA requires all registered sports' officials to enforce the sportsmanship rules for coaches and contestants. Actions meant to demean opposing contestants, teams, spectators, and officials are not in the highest ideals of interscholastic education and will not be tolerated. Let today's contest reflect mutual respect. Coaches please certify to the contest official(s) that your contestants are legally equipped and uniformed according to NFHS rules and PIAA adoptions. Good luck in today's contest.” PIAA Sportsmanship Message

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