Lon Horwedel | AnnArbor.com

The Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association is really trying to take the fun away from its high school students rooting for their school’s basketball teams.

The WIAA has now banned “chants by student sections directed at opponents and/or opponents’ supporters that are clearly intended to disrespect,” according to an e-mail sent to students in December (via the Appleton Post-Crescent).

These are the phrases, commonly used in gyms across the nation, that are reportedly no longer allowed:

• “Fundamentals”
• “Sieve”
• “We can’t hear you”
• “Air ball”
• “You can’t do that”
• “There’s a net there”
• “Scoreboard”
• “Season’s over” (during tournament play)

News of the ban became more widespread when April Gehl, a three-sport star and one of the top scorers on Hilbert High School’s basketball team was suspended for a tweet that involved the WIAA.

Needless to say, people aren’t happy about it:

The rule changes really are ridiculous, though. And if we’re being honest, the chants come off as more silly than “clearly intended to disrespect.” If the chants were that disrespectful, you wouldn’t hear them in every high school gym across the country.

Chants like “we can’t hear you” and “you can’t do that” are easily some of the least disrespectful chants out there, and a more popular chant (from my high school days, at least) would be “push it,” which is intended to sound more like the profanity. That one, I could understand being banned.

It’s high school basketball. Unless the WIAA has had a case of a basketball player crying or finding the chants very offensive, why do anything about them? It’s a part of the high school basketball experience, and you’re taking that away from kids who go to these games to have a good time, and to support their fellow classmates.

Shame on you, WIAA.

About Harry Lyles Jr.

Harry Lyles Jr. is an Atlanta-based writer, and a Georgia State University graduate.