Local sporting events are a great addition to any community. Whether it be Little League, school sports recreational or professional, sports plays a big role in our nation and certainly throughout the Southern Tier of New York.

It's been awhile since I've attended a high school sporting event, but in my youth, it was a big part of my life, mostly from spectator view. I did play drums in the marching band, so I was at every high school football game during my high school years.

In all my years of attending school sports as a spectator, I've never witness unruly people in the stands, but I have heard through news reports of some rather disturbing incidences across or country from time to time.

The New York State Public High School Athletic Association has taken steps to help curb inappropriate behavior at school sporting events in the state. The NYSPHSAA met on May 3rd for it's Executive Committee quarterly meeting in Saratoga Springs, New York to vote on several proposals.

NYSPHSAA represents 787 member schools in New York State. One of the proposals that passed to begin this fall (2023) is a spectator sportsmanship regulation According to the latest version of the handbook, article 28, section C outlines the regulations. .

The first is the Expectation Statement from October of 2022, stating:

Spectators are expected to “Be Loud, Be Proud, and Be Positive.” Negative comments and inappropriate behaviors by spectators are required to be addressed by all and any school supervisors and administrators, as a member of NYSPHSAA. Spectators may be prohibited from attending current and future interscholastic contests based on their behavior.  - NYSPHAA

Under Spectator Regulations, negative, inappropriate, derogatory comments or actions will be addressed by a supervisor or school administrator.

For a first warning, the offending spectator or group of spectators will be asked to refrain from negative comments and/or actions. If a second warning is warranted, the person or persons will receive a personal discussion, and a third warning will result in the person or persons directed to leave the facility.

Refusal to do so could result in a pause of the game until the offending person or persons vacate the facility. For more information on NYS school sports Spectator regulations visit the NYSPHAA website.

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