There’s defining sportsmanship, and then there’s “Defining Sportsmanship.”

As Sports Illustrated reported today, the Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association (WIAA), regulatory body for all Wisconsin high school sports, sent an email to Wisconsin students, student-athletes, coaches, parents, cheerleaders, and others in December reminding them about their guidelines for sportsmanship. The rules ban “chants by student sections directed at opponents and/or opponents’ supporters that are clearly intended to disrespect,” according to WIAA.

The news started to pick up after Hilbert High School girl’s basketball player April Gehl was suspended five games for sending a tweet with vulgar langauge speaking out against the rules. Most, if not all, of these rules have apparently been around, but the WIAA just decided to reinforce them with these emails.

Under the guidelines, the following, which are only 10 of the 29 cheers eliminated, should not be cheered:

  1. Booing of any kind.
  2. “Over-rated” chant.
  3. “Scoreboard” cheer.
  4. “Air ball” chant.
  5. “Nuts n bolts” chant.
  6. “You, You, You” chant.
  7. “You can’t do that,” “fund-a-mentals,” “We can’t hear you,” “Warm up the bus” chants.
  8. “Sieve, sieve, sieve” chant.
  9. “Nah, nah, nah, nah…hey-eyy goodbye” song: “Season’s Over” chant.
  10. “U-S-A, U-S-A, U-S-A” or any acronym of derogatory language or innuendo.

Click here for the full document.

Furthermore, there is no rushing the court and no body paint allowed, among other guidelines. I’m not sure why chanting “U-S-A,” our country, is derogatory by any means (apparently it can indicate “You suck ass”) but this is one of the most ridiculous documents you will ever read, if you take the time to read it.

Click here to sign the first petition started by high school students speaking out against the rules.

Click here to sign the second petition on 

How does the WIAA enforce such unenforceable rules? Perhaps that is why they sent out an email last month, making sure players, coaches, student fans, and other stakeholders are aware of them. But, still, where did the sudden focus come from? There must have been isolated incidents of some sort for the WIAA to send the emails in December.

I understand the need to eliminate certain cheers (just ask Diamond Stone about his homecoming last weekend), but come on, WIAA.

We called the WIAA office and are waiting for a call back for clarification on the rules and what started this all.

Special thanks to Kyle Koelbl from Holmen High School.

Shout out to my alma mater Homestead High School with the photo.