Wisconsin athletic officials take the trash out of trash-talking

Tue Jan 12, 2016 4:30pm EST
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By Brendan O'Brien

MILWAUKEE (Reuters) - Wisconsin high school athletic officials hoping to curb bad behavior have told student fans to stop shouting "airball" when an opposing basketball player badly misses a shot among other chants deemed unsportsmanlike.

Chants such as "sieve," "we can't hear you," "scoreboard," and "season's over" are also considered unsportsmanlike, the Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association said in an email to athletic departments across Wisconsin.

The association told local officials to take action when students direct chants toward opponents and their fans, calling unacceptable those intended to "taunt, disrespect, distract or entice an unsporting behavior."

The email served as a reminder, not new police, association executive director Dave Anderson said.

"I don't care if they cheer until they are blue in the face and pass out," Anderson said. "But they should keep it focused on their own team."

(Reporting by Brendan O'Brien in Milwaukee; Editing by Sandra Maler)