Teenagers brawled in the stands at a high school basketball game at Madison Square Garden last night before police cracked down on the crowd, which spilled into the streets. Gunfire was heard as the crowd went from the arena to Times Square, police said. No injuries were reported. Twenty-one people, mostly teenagers, were arrested, police said.
From brawls on basketball courts to out of control parents at Little League games and wrestling matches, unsportsmanlike behavior can be a problem.
Now, some high school sporting officials in Washington state are considering tough new rules ��� including a ban on booing. Those who support the ban say that too often, spectators are cruel.
"It's the organized effort to try to intimidate or try to make fun of someone that becomes personal in nature that can escalate then into other concerns that we might have," said Mike Colbrese, executive director of the Washington Interscholastic Activities Association.
Colbrese and his colleagues said they have trouble hiring coaches and referees because of the abuse they take. By banning booing from the stands, they believe they can create a more welcoming environment on the court and field. Experts agree that behavior at school sports events is not what it used to be. "Parents are more intense, family members are more intense, siblings are more intense," said Christine Brennan, a USA Today sports columnist. "Everything is ratcheted up."
The Interscholastic Association claims it just wants to reinforce good sportsmanship. However, some fans aren���t pleased that their right to boo might be taken away. For instance, one woman told ABC News, "The crowd should be able to say what they want to say. They pay their money. They should be able to boo if they want to.���
Do you think booing should be banned?
(Photo provided by Getty Images/taken by Nick Laham)