TASD announces guidelines for spectators of indoor sporting events

Tyrone Area School officials sat down with The Daily Herald earlier this week to outline guidelines for spectators at indoor sporting events.
Just prior to the last high school football game of the season (a playoff loss to Bishop McCort) on Nov. 11, administrators issued new guidelines for events at the football field.
The move was in response to a violent incident the week before when a Penn Cambria bus driver was assaulted by a Tyrone Area student. The 16-year-old student was arrested and suspended by the district. He has since been put in “placement” according to administrators. The new guidelines were also put in place because the district wanted to address an overall concern for safety and security at such events.
At the time, the district said new guidelines would be used for indoor events. The first indoor home game of the season is scheduled for this evening between the Bellwood-Antis and Tyrone girls basketball teams.
Superintendent Dr. William N. Miller said, “The guidelines are for the benefit of everyone attending the event…to provide a safe and secure environment. That’s what our interest is, safety, security and structure.
“We feel (establishing) some additional guidelines is necessary, as we did with the football game, this will be carried through all the sports to make it a productive and a positive experience for everybody in attendance.”
Officials said they thought the establishment of the new guidelines created a better environment for everyone involved during the Nov. 11 football game.
The new guidelines for indoor events were distributed to students to take home at the elementary level and were reviewed with students at the middle school and high school levels through announcements.
Officials said security personnel would be in place in the gym, the hallways, the restrooms and the parking lot for indoor events.
The district requested the local media’s help to get the word out to the public. School officials provided the following information to The Daily Herald regarding behavior in gymnasium. The new guidelines are as follows:
• Remember that you are at a contest to support and cheer for your team and to enjoy the skill and competition; not to intimidate or ridicule the other team and its fans;
• Remember that interscholastic athletics are a learning experience for students and that mistakes are sometimes made. Praise student athletes in their attempt to improve themselves as students, as athletes and as people as you would praise a student working in a classroom;
• A ticket is a privilege to observe the contest, not a license to verbally assault others and be generally obnoxious;
• Learn the rules of the contest so that you may understand and appreciate why certain situations take place;
• Show respect for the opposite team\’s players, coaches, spectators and support groups. Treat them as you would treat a guest in your own home;
• Respect the integrity and judgment of contest officials. Understand that they are doing their best to help promote the student-athlete, and admire they willingness to participate in the full view of the public;
• Recognize and show appreciation for an outstanding play;
• Refrain from the use of any controlled substances (alcohol, drugs, tobacco, etc.) before, and during contests and afterwards on or near the site of the contest (i.e. tailgating);
• Use only those cheers that support and uplift the teams involved;
• Recognize and compliment school and athletic administrators for their efforts in emphasizing the educational benefits of interscholastic athletics and the role of good sportsmanship to that end and
• Be a positive role model through your own actions and censuring those around you whose behavior is unbecoming.
The guidelines listed acceptable behavior as:
• Applause during the introduction of players, coaches and contest officials;
• Accept all decisions of contest officials;
• Cheerleaders lead fans in cheers in a positive manner and
• Treat competition as a contest, not a war.
The guidelines listed the following as unacceptable behavior:
• Disrespectful or derogatory cheers, chants, songs or gestures;
• Criticizing officials in any way or displays of temper with an official’s call;
• Cheers that antagonize opponents;
• Blaming loss of contest on officials, coaches or participants;
• Laughing or name-calling to distract an opponent;
• Use of profanity or displays of anger that draw attention away from the contest and
• Wearing extreme or unusual clothing or excessive face or body painting that detracts from the action on the playing surface.
Much of the information was provided to the district from guidelines established through the Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association. The district has also added the following rules for those attending indoor events in the Tyrone Area School District:
• No food or drink permitted in the gymnasium;
• Children in grades K through five must be supervised and accompanied by an adult at all times;
• No horseplay on school property before, during or after the event;
• No street shoes on the gym floor or wrestling mats and
• Speeding on school grounds or illegal parking is also not acceptable.
Tyrone Area officials said violation of the above rules would result in being removed from the event and/or future events.