OSSAA enforces new rule to encourage good sportsmanship

Published: Aug. 10, 2022 at 11:00 PM CDT
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DURANT, Oklahoma (KXII) - Football is a game that’s filled with emotion, on the field and in the stands.

However, sometimes, if a referee’s call doesn’t go their way - coaches, athletes, and spectators can become unruly.

Tishomingo’s defense coordinator, Jeff Alexander said, “My kids don’t want to hear from some stranger that their dad is something that is not mentionable on film.”

This year, The Oklahoma Secondary School Activities Association will implement a new rule to prevent un-sportsman like behavior.

A first offense might result in a warning, but a second offense could end with a suspension for the rest of the season.

Coalgate head coach, Nathan Hill said, “Something needs to happen. There’s too many instances when there’s fights with teams, parents coming out the stands to confront a coach or a referee.”

Which is something Alexander agrees with.

He said, ”Some of the things I heard, the way they have been addressed, is absolutely ridiculous. So I can definitely see the OSSAA saying listen, this is a school, and this is the punishment and you guys need to start addressing these issues.”

However, there are some who are skeptical of how well the rule will work.

Atoka head coach Jacob Cupp said, “You’re going to get those heckling fans, and that’s what makes football football.”

What constitutes as inappropriate behavior that will result in suspension?

According to the OSSAA: fans verbally or physically attacking officials, fans attacking other fans, coaches verbally or physically attacking officials, players getting into fights with other players at the end of a game, and fans verbally chanting demeaning chants at other teams.

What about those parents who tend to get a little heated?

Well Hill has his opinion.

He said, “All their job is, is to support their kid, and support the other players and that’s it.”

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