New OSSAA rule targets unsportsmanlike conduct

Published: Aug. 11, 2022 at 8:08 PM CDT
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LAWTON, Okla. (KSWO) - The new rule, created by the OSSAA, has been on the minds of local Athletic Directors around the area.

With the new rule in place, Cache Athletic Director Lisa O’Kelley says the culture in athletics will have to change.

“Our culture has become that we are abusive and negative towards officials, towards coaches, towards the people who are trying to create an environment for kids to compete and so when our culture has been created and it’s negative those of us who have a way to turn that culture around to do so”, said O’Kelley.

Toxic cultures in sports are a negative aspect that create rules such as these.

The rule says, if anyone commits two or more unsportsmanlike acts in the particular sport their involved in, the team or individual will be suspended for the remainder of the season.

Brett Manning, the Head Football Coach and Athletic Director at MacArthur High school, has two perspetives of the rule. As a coach and an administrator. He says it starts with being mentors to the students and leading by example to make sure negative acts don’t happen.

“I think it’s a good rule. I think there should be a certain level of professionalism when it comes to coaches and you know we should set the example and behavior and act right. And that will you know trickle down to our kids and you know it’s a responsibility of ours as coaches to mentor kids and you know show by example the way to act”, said Manning.

The OSSAA says in the event a second act does occur, when there are no contests left in the current season it will be applied to next season which will possibly end an entire teams season before it starts.

Egregious behavior includes verbally attacking officials, attacking officials, players fighting while shaking hands after the game ends and student sections verbally chanting inappropriate or demeaning chants at individuals, teams or officials.

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