MIAA Sportsmanship Guidlines

Parents, guardians and fans, please review this information

The ideals of good sportsmanship, ethical behavior and integrity should permeate all interscholastic athletics in our community. In perception and practice, good sportsmanship shall be defined as those qualities of behavior which are characterized by generosity and genuine concern for others. Our athletic fields should be the laboratory to produce good citizens reflecting “fair play” in every area of life.

Expectations of Parents, Guests and Other Fans

  • Game attendance is a privilege and not a license to verbally assault others or to be obnoxious.
  • Respect the entire playing of the National Anthem.
  • Respect decisions made by contest officials.
  • Be an exemplary role model by positively supporting teams in every manner possible, including content of cheer and signs.
  • Become aware of the purpose of the league and rules to keep winning in its proper place.
  • Respect fans, coaches and participants.
  • Be a fan… not fanatic!
  • Recognize outstanding performances on either side of the playing field.

Suggested Positive Behavioral Guides

  • Applaud during introduction of player, coaches and officials.
  • Accept all decisions by officials.
  • Handshakes between participants and coaches at end of contest, regardless of outcome.
  • Treat competition as a game, not a war.
  • Search out opposing participants to recognize them for outstanding performance of coaching.
  • Applaud at end of contest for performances of all participants.
  • Demonstrate concern for injured player, regardless of team.
  • Encourage supporting people to display only sportsmanlike conduct.

Unacceptable Behavior

  • Yelling or negative chanting or gestures toward opponent.
  • Booing or heckling an official’s decision.
  • Criticizing officials in any way; displays temper with an official’s call.
  • Taunting or trash talk.
  • Refusing to shake hands or to give recognition for good performances.
  • Blaming loss of game on officials, coaches or participants.
  • Laughing or name calling to distract an opponent.
  • Using profanity or displays of anger to draw attention away from the game.

MIAA Sportsmanship Guidelines for Fan/Spectator Support Items

In the chart below, ONLY those items marked “Yes” will be allowed as fan/spectator support items at all MIAA interscholastic and state tournament play. The items indicated in this table are for use by member schools as policy guidelines for their fans.



Balloons No
Banners on wall


Exceptions: Welcome signs, corporate sponsors, school signs that are permanently fixed on walls.

Confetti or shredded paper No
Hand-held signs
(individually or with more than one person)


See explanation for noisemakers below.

Laser light/pointer No
Objects thrown into crowd
i.e. miniature sports balls, candy, etc.
Megaphones No
(horns, bells, buzzers, whistles, thunder sticks, rattles, music instruments not part of a band, air horns, sirens)


Per MIAA Handbook Rule 97.10.5
horns, posters noisemakers confetti pom poms balloons and banners are not to be permitted at any site. if the site manager feels that something mentioned above is also creating a nuisance contest site, should have such items removed.”

Face paint/hair coloring


Fans are not prohibited from painting their faces or coloring their hair in manners that appropriately demonstrate school spirit. However, out of respect to facilities that host our tournaments, student support groups should do their painting prior to entering the facility.

Body paint/taking off shirt


Shirts and shoes are required attire at every facility that hosts MIAA tournament events. Therefore, the use of body paint is prohibited at tournament events.

Paper banners for teams to run through Yes
Pom poms, shakers, spirit towels No
Recorded music over PA system


By approval of the site director only.

School/pep bands


Per MIAA Handbook Rule
The MIAA Sportsmanship Committee has voted to permit bands to be present and to play at tournaments. However, the following restrictions are part of this action.

  1. A maximum of 12 is permitted. An advisor must be in attendance and sit with the band.
  2. Permission in advance must be granted by the Tournament Director and Site Director
  3. Pep bands are not permitted to play while the game is in play.

A full compliment of high school bands is permitted at all super bowl football contests.

Cannons/muskets/guns No
Carried school flags No
Live animal mascots No
Leaving team’s side of play/court No
Storming the field No