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WIAA passes spectator ejection penalty for unruly fans at games

wiaa referee
Posted at 8:50 PM, May 26, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-27 12:03:17-04

MILWAUKEE — The WIAA is cracking down on unruly fans.

On Wednesday, the association introduced a new rule to keep ejected fans away from high school games with some time to think about their actions.

If you plan to attend a game, as always, you’re encouraged to be on your best behavior. However, if not, referees or umpires could suspend you for an extended period of time.

“It’s the last thing we want to do, but there are times now they become too obtrusive on the game,” said Ken Koester of the National Association of Sports Officials, or NASO.

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The new rule comes via Amendment 3. It will keep any fan ejected for unsportsmanlike conduct from attending the next contest.

“So this makes them stop and think. And maybe they don’t do something they’re going to regret, or that has such consequence and maybe they just won’t do it so they don’t miss their son’s or daughter's next game,” Koester said.

The news was welcomed by parents like Guererro Duran, who also coaches baseball. He said he understands officials’ ongoing issues with unruly fans.

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“I think I do understand it from the perspective of the umpire shortage. I think it’s tough,” Duran said.

Tough because he thinks the rule could be tough to enforce as those “suspended” fans look to come back to the next contest.

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“How do you enforce it? It’s a wide field, I could go up on a tree right there and no one would know that I'm here,” Duran said while sitting at his son’s baseball game.

This rule comes as a bipartisan bill in the State Senate and Assembly looks to make the act a Class A misdemeanor in Wisconsin.

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