A star basketball player from Hilbert is finding out the hard way that you don't challenge adults' ways of thinking. April Gehl is suspended for the Wolves next five basketball game for taking the WIAA to task for their concerns about "sportsmanship" through Twitter. During the holidays, the WIAA sent out emails to all athletic directors expressing concerns about fans at games chanting things like "scoreboard" or "sieve" when a goalie gives up a goal, or "air ball" when a shot fails to hit the rim. The AD's are directed to put an end to such "examples of unsporting behavior". Miss Gehl chose to take to social media to express what most of us actually involved in the games think: Give me a break.
Let me take you inside what the WIAA and the other sports associations consider to be priorities. On this year's basketball officials test, there were more questions pertaining to what color headbands and undergarments can be worn by players than there were what constitutes actual fouls on the court. We are also quizzed on how many logos can appear on a uniform, where said logos can be placed on the tank top and the legal width of side panel stripes on a uniform. Yet there is no testing for determination of a block or a charge on a drive down the lane late in a game--you know, stuff that actually affects the play on the court.
In softball we are expected to enforce the legal coloring of piping on a glove, whether the knob on the bat is too loose and if a sleeve under a pitchers uniform is distracting to a hitter. Yet there is no testing of what is a ball--and what is a strike.
I know where this "concern" for student section cheering came from. Somewhere this season, a mother's son or daughter jacked up a shot that was obviously out of his or her range--failed to draw iron--and was ribbed by the opposing fans. "I felt offended for my child having to hear such vicious taunting from the other kids in the gym--and the other school's officials did nothing to stop it" is what was likely in the email sent to Stevens Point and the WIAA office. Of course, if you asked the player involved, he or she would likely tell you they forgot about the chant seconds after it was over. That's what successful athletes do--forget about their failures and focus on succeeding the next time--but today's helicopter, my child is a fragile being and needs to be protected from everything parents don't understand that. And neither do the "protectors of the game" who cater to those parents--and who think they are above criticism--especially from those for whom they are actually supposed to be working.