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Wisconsin HS students banned from chanting harmless phrases

The “W” in WIAA technically stands for “Wisconsin” but it should really stand for “Whining.”

The “W” in WIAA technically stands for “Wisconsin” but it should really stand for “Whining.”

The Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association has banned high school students from chanting certain words and phrases at basketball games, and none of them are remotely close to being hurtful or inappropriate.

In an email sent out to students in December, which was obtained by the Post-Crescent, the WIAA banned “chants by student sections directed at opponents and/or opponents’ supporters that are clearly intended to disrespect.”

The following words were reportedly included as examples:

• “Fundamentals”
• “Sieve”
• “We can’t hear you”
• “Air ball”
• “You can’t do that”
• “There’s a net there”
• “Scoreboard”
• “Season’s over” (during tournament play)

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The news only came to light when high school athlete April Gehl tweeted her criticism, with some profane language, about the rule changes. She was suspended by her school as a result.

Gehl is a true hero for bringing these rules to light. In what state is a 16-year-old kid yelling “Airrrrr-ballllll” considered something that’s so disrespectful it needs to be banned? How is reminding the other team that you need to improve your fundamentals a bad thing? Who even chants “There’s a net there” anyway?

Also, what if a student is tossed for chanting one of the above phrases? What are you going to yell at him if you can’t yell “You can’t do that!”

There are a lot of questions that need to be answered. 

- Kenny Ducey