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Students protest WIAA rules with duct tape

Posted: 6:29 PM, Jan 13, 2016
Updated: 2016-01-15 00:52:36Z

ASHWAUBENON, Wis.- The gym was unusually quiet at the Ashwaubenon High School basketball game Tuesday night.

"We stayed quiet until we scored six points which took longer than it should have," said Ashwaubenon High School senior and athlete, Josiah Santana.

Students showed up with duct tape over their mouths at the game after learning about the WIAA sportsmanship rules.
"I still am against them, I don't really agree, I think some of them are a little too far," said Ashwaubenon High School senior and athlete, Heather Heyrman.
 
The organization sent out an email to all schools in Wisconsin at the end of December reminding them about proper sportsmanship.
 
The email asked that chants such as "You can't do that," "Fundamentals," "Air ball," There's a net there," "Sieve," "We can't hear you," the "scoreboard cheer and "season's over," not be said during games.
WIAA director of communications Todd Clark said it's not a new rule.
 
"There's no new directives, no new rules, no new mandates, no new expectations of enforcement associated with that email," Clark said.
 
"There's a list with the information as to why they might be disrespectful." 
 
However, after Hilbert High School's April Gehl was suspended for five games for her tweet objecting to the rules, the story got national attention. That attention is what prompted Ashwaubenon students to take action.
 
"I think our kids came out and were being creative, they wanted to poke the bear a little bit," said Ashwaubenon High School activities director and associate principal, Nick Senger.
Teaching staff say despite students voicing their concerns, they still demand sportsmanship at every game.
 
Senger says he's using this as an example to teach students what is and is not acceptable.
 
National college basketball announcer Jay Bilas strongly criticized the WIAA for the policy with a series of tweets this week.