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Are fans getting out of hand at local sporting events?



La Crosse area college and high school sports official, Keith Jereczek, in the WIZM studio for La Crosse Talk PM on Jan. 17, 2024. Jereczek officiates basketball, softball and baseball.

When it comes to local sporting events, things can sometimes be spoiled by just one or two fans. What can be done about it? Is it a problem that’s getting worse? 

Keith Jereczek has been officiating college and high school sports in the area for over a decade. He stopped in the WIZM studio for La Crosse Talk PM to discuss those interactions from an official’s perspective, while we also brought in the WIAA Assistant Director, Kate Petersen Abiad, to get her take.

La Crosse Talk PM airs weekdays at 5:06 p.m. Listen on the WIZM app, online here, or on 92.3 FM / 1410 AM / 106.7 FM (north of Onalaska). Find all the podcasts here or subscribe to La Crosse Talk PM wherever you get your podcasts.

We looked at these situations from a couple different perspectives, including how a school handles these interactions, what to do when it’s an athlete or coach that’s unruly and, of course, the adult fans in the crowd. 

We also talked about how difficult it is for officials, who are often held to a higher standard when dealing with these interactions, even though oftentimes it’s an another adult who is getting out of hand.

Does there need to be a change in fan culture and, if so, how does that happen?

Host of WIZM's La Crosse Talk PM | University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point graduate | Hometown: Greenville, Wis | Avid noonball basketball player and sand volleyballer in La Crosse

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