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NYS high schools rollout ‘three-strike rule’ for spectator conduct at fall sports

  • / Updated:
  • Staff Report 

The state expects everyone in attendance at local high school sporting events to be on their best behavior. Enhanced spectator guidelines have been rolled out by the New York State Public High School Athletic Association.


The rollout involves a three-strike policy to curb negative and disruptive conduct during games. This development follows instances of disturbances at high school games across the state.

The newly instituted policy spans across various sports and aims to ensure a conducive and respectful environment for both students and officials, especially as the football season gets underway.

Under the new regulations, spectators displaying inappropriate behavior will first receive a warning to cease any negative comments or actions.

A second instance will involve enlightening the spectator on the new rules and informing them that a third violation will lead to their removal from the game. Subsequent to being ejected, the spectator must complete a parent credential course or endure a one-game suspension.

DiSanto Propane (Billboard)

NYSPHSAA officials emphasized that the enforcement of these rules is to address the unfortunately rising trend of negative behavior in youth sports and to safeguard the sportsmanship and integrity of high school sports events.

While many spectators have welcomed the initiative, suggesting that it will prompt people to think before they act, authorities have highlighted that not all games encounter such disruptive behavior.

Nonetheless, the association believes the presence of such regulations is crucial as any occurrence of negative behavior impacts the game and the participating student-athletes adversely. The move is part of a broader effort to uphold decorum and accountability in high school sports and is reflective of similar initiatives being undertaken across the country.