FCIAC implements new policy targeting hurtful chanting

Fans attend the Staples vs. Newington football game. Per the new FCIAC rules, Staples fans who made the drive to Newington could not chant names or numbers at the opposition.

Finnegan Courtney ’23

Fans attend the Staples vs. Newington football game. Per the new FCIAC rules, Staples fans who made the drive to Newington could not chant names or numbers at the opposition.

Fairfield County Interscholastic Athletic Conference (FCIAC) has implemented a “No Names, No Numbers” policy as of Sept. 7. in attempts to take a step towards reducing the increased amount of negative chants. This new policy entails that no fans at any FCIAC event will be allowed to call out an opponent’s name or jersey number  during the course of a game

“We are trying to improve student fan behavior. The past year was brutal with the things that were being said,” FCIAC commissioner Dave Schulz said at FCIAC’s August Student/Athlete Conference. “I really thought it was kind of over the top. We all did as ADs.”

With the policy, Connecticut can add itself to the list of states with this type of ban in place, a ban becoming more common across the country over the past decade. In addition, the FCIAC has put into place a strict crowd control policy where a person in charge of the athletic event can eject fans from the stands for violations of the policy.

We are trying to improve student fan behavior. The past year was brutal with the things that were being said. I really thought it was kind of over the top. We all did as ADs”

— FCIAC commissioner Dave Schulz

The “No Names, No Numbers” policy also includes the formation of school-selected “Class Act Councils.” A practice used by Schulz during his time as the Athletic Director at Warde, the “Class Act Councils” will deal directly with students that demonstrate “inappropriate behavior” at events, determining punishments if the situation in question requires such action.

Meanwhile, at Staples, Athletic Director Marty Lisevick agrees with the implementation of the policy, but said with regards to Staples’ student section at athletic events that he doesn’t see the same behavior, and if it is seen, it is quickly discouraged and dealt with.

“I’ve never enjoyed taunting in any shape or form in high school athletics because I think it’s inappropriate. I think it goes against good sportsmanship. We certainly don’t want it from our athletes or our fans,” Lisevick said. “It seems to be more and more prevalent, not necessarily here, but around the FCIAC. [We] are going to shut it down anytime we see it [and] I would just remind our kids that the expectation is good sportsmanship by our players and by our fans.”