New Section X policy for spectators at all athletic contests

Posted by Erin E. Woods on 11/22/2022

The Section X Northern Athletic Conference has issued a new sportsmanship policy that will govern all athletic contests in Section X. This new policy will go into effect for Edwards-Knox Central School District, and all Section X school districts, beginning with the first scrimmage of the 2022 Winter Sports Season. The policy, as adopted, is detailed below.

Section X Spectator Sportsmanship Policy: 

“Any negative, inappropriate, derogatory comments or actions that brings direct attention to a supervisor or school administrator by a spectator or group of spectators are required to be addressed by the host school, Coach, District Administration, or NYSPHSAA representative in the following non- sequential order depending on the comments or behavior:

    • First warning – The spectator or group of spectators will be directed to refrain from any negative comments or actions.
    • Second warning – A personal discussion will be had with the spectators or group of spectators on the above NYSPHSAA expectations and reminding the spectators or group of spectators of the next step, removal of the game or event, will be utilized if the behavior continues.
    • Removal from the contest – The spectator or group of spectators will be directed to leave the facility for the remainder of the game or event. If spectators or a group of spectators refuse to leave the game or event, play will be stopped until they vacate the premises.

*Districts or officials have the right to bypass the steps above based on the severity of the situation. 

Penalty for being removed from a game or event: Any spectator removed from a game or event will have a minimum penalty of completing the NFHS Parent Credential courses (Positive Parenting Within School Programs & The Parent Seat) and a one game suspension before they are allowed to attend any interscholastic event, home or away. The suspension will be in effect for the next interscholastic event at the same level of the same sport from which the spectator removal occurred. If the removal occurs during the last game of a sport season, the suspension will be served in the next applicable interscholastic event in a subsequent sport season. Upon completion of the NFHS Parent Credential course, the spectator will provide the certificate of completion to the athletic department office. Failure to comply will result in an additional suspension. Schools are required to communicate with the offending spectator on the NYSPHSAA Spectator Sportsmanship Expectations.

Depending on the severity of the behavior/comments or future disqualifications by the offending spectator NYSPHSAA and the Section may get directly involved in the situation. Note: A school may take any or all these actions during or after an interscholastic contest.”

We are looking forward to a winter sports season that is both competitive and fun for our student athletes, coaches, and spectators. Please contact our district’s Winter Season Athletic Director, Vanessa Ross, at vross@ekcsk12.org if you have any questions regarding this new policy.