Breckenridge Texan

BISD implements new, stricter rules for spectator behavior at sporting events

BISD implements new, stricter rules for spectator behavior at sporting events
November 21
20:52 2023

By Carla McKeown/Breckenridge Texan

Spectators at Breckenridge Buckaroo sporting events will need to behave themselves at games or face some relatively strict consequences, including, for repeat offenders, a year-long ban from any Breckenridge Independent School District athletic events.

At last week’s school board meeting, BISD Athletic Director Casey Pearce said that he had just had the first meeting with some of the players’ parents to go over the new rules. But, he pointed out that the rules and the punishments for breaking them will likely need to be spread by word of mouth and example.

BISD Athletic Director Casey Pearce talks to the BISD school board and others in attendance at the Nov. 13 meeting about the policy regarding the behavior of spectators at sporting events. (Photo by Tony Pilkington/Breckenridge Texan)

BISD’s “Behavior Expectations of Spectators” is taken directly from the 2023-24 UIL Parent Handbook. It details how fans in the stands are expected to act during sporting events, making it clear that specific things will not be tolerted, such as intimidating or ridiculing the other team, its fans or the officials; assaulting or generally being obnoxious verbally; disrespecting the game officials’ integrity and judgment; disrespecting players, coaches, other spectators, as well as officials; using controlled substances before, during or after the game on or near the site of the event; etc.

Spectators are expected to use only cheers that support and uplift the teams involved, be a positive role model at events, recognize and show appreciateion for an outstanding play by either team; and more.

“First time they’re removed (for breaking the rules), it’s a probationary period, and the action can’t be repeated,” Pearce said, explaining the punishments to the school board. “The second time is a 30-day suspension. And the only way to change that suspension is they’re going to officiate junior high B-team basketball without pay. And they’re going to do it by the rules, and they’re going to try to teach and coach on kids and understand the scrutiny that officials are under. … The next time it happens, they’re banned for one calendar year. That takes them away from seeing any any sport their child participates, or their grandchild, or the kid that they liked to follow.”

With only a few Buckaroo and Lady Buckaroo basketball games having been played before the Nov. 13 meeting, Pearce said the school district had already had to deal with unruly fans.

The school district is responsible for ensuring that the behavior of the spectators follows the guidelines.

According to the policy, if a Breckenridge spectator is ejected from a game, the spectator will have to meet with Pearce and a campus administrator to get the fan’s side of the story and to determine the punishment.

The policy also offers some suggestions for fans, to help them follow the rules:

  • Remember that you are at the contest to support and yell for your team and to enjoy the skill and competition, not to intimidate or ridicule the other team, its fans, or the officials.
  • A ticket is a privilege to observe the contest, not a license to assault others or be generally obnoxious verbally. That privilege may be revoked at any time.
  • Respect the integrity and judgment of game officials. Understand that they are doing their best to help promote the student-athletes. We should all admire their willingness to participate in full view of the public.
  • Remember that school athletics are a learning experience for students and that mistakes are sometimes made. Praise student-athletes in their attempt to improve themselves as students, athletes, and people, just as you would praise a student working in the classroom.
  • Learn the rules of the game so that you may understand and appreciate why certain situations occur.
  • Be a positive role model at events through your actions and by censuring those around you whose behavior is unbecoming.

To look at the three-page BISD document that includes the “Behavior Expectations of Spectators,” as well as the actions to followed after a spectator is ejected from a game, and the punishment options that the school district has, click here to download the PDF.


Cutline, top photo: At last week’s school board meeting, BISD Athletic Director Casey Pearce explains the new policy outlining the school district’s expectations of spectators at sporting events. (Photo by Tony Pilkington/Breckenridge Texan)



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