Townsend School District believes that athletic and co-curricular events are an extension of the classroom and are therefore learning activities. Participation in school sports programs is a privilege, not a right. To earn that privilege, student-athletes must abide by the rules, and they must conduct themselves, on and off the field, as positive role models who exemplify good character.  Community and parent support along with role modeling of appropriate sportsmanship behavior is an important part of our activities/events.

Good sportsmanship is one of the primary purposes of educational athletics.  Our student-athletes recognize that judgment calls – by coaches, officials and themselves – are made in good faith and should be respected.

Sportsmanship is the Golden Rule in action.  It is practicing respect.  Sportsmanship doesn’t change with time or place.  Sportsmanship is the same no matter where the game is being played or who is playing it.  Sportsmanship is what sets high school sports apart from other levels of athletics.  Ultimately, sportsmanship becomes a way of life for our students.  As a parent, family member, guardian or fan we thank you for being a good sport.

Spectators can support both teams by refraining from derogatory remarks, demeaning comments and cheers today.

We hope that you enjoy the activities and support the students, coaches and officials in a positive and sportsmanlike manner. 

So much lately has been made of athletes and coaches being role models for fans, but in the end who’s a role model for whom?  Before you, as a fan, verbally abuse a player, a coach or an official at an athletic event – STOP AND THINK!  Maybe it’s time for the fans to become role models for the participants.

We would like to thank the Montana Officials Association for providing the officials for our contests.  These individuals have worked hard to learn the rules and apply them fairly.  We ask that you respect their honest efforts in administering this contest.

Any person, including an adult, who behaves in an unsportsmanlike manner during an athletic or co-curricular event, may be ejected from the event the person is attending and/or denied admission to school events for up to a year, after a Board hearing.

Examples of unsportsmanlike conduct include, but are not limited to:

1.         Using vulgar or obscene language or gestures

2.         Fighting or otherwise striking or threatening another person

3.         Failing to obey the instructions of a security officer or school district employee

4.         Threatening, abusive, or derogatory behavior towards any participating coach, player or game official, before, during or after the game.


            1.         Be courteous at all times with school officials, opponents, game officials, and spectators

            2.         Exercise self-control

            3.         Know all rules of the contest

            4.         Show respect for self, players, officials, coaches, and spectators

            5.         Refrain from the use of foul and/or abusive language at all times

            6.         Respect the integrity and judgment of game officials

            7.         Win with character; lose with dignity

Below are policies and statutes that the Townsend School Board, Montana High School Association and the State of Montana have put in place in relation to crowd control which relates to sportsmanship.




Crowd control at school events is the primary responsibility of the school administration and staff. Assistance from Law enforcement officers may be arranged in advance when deemed appropriate. In emergency circumstances when the administrator in charge at a school event deems it appropriate, law enforcement assistance may be requested to quell unruly behavior, enforce the law, investigate a crime, or assist in other legal and appropriate ways.



If any person disrupts or obstructs any school program, activity, or meeting, or threatens to do so, or commits, threatens to imminently commit, or incites another to commit any act that will disturb or interfere with or obstruct any lawful task, function, process, or procedure of any student, official, employee, or invitee of the District, the staff member in charge shall immediately notify the local law enforcement authorities of the incident.

The staff member in charge shall make a written report detailing the incident, not later than twenty-four (24) hours from when the incident occurred. A copy of the report shall be given to the staff member’s immediate supervisor.



Townsend K-12 School District # 1 believes that athletic and co-curricular events are an extension of the classroom and are therefore learning activities. Community and parent support as well as role modeling of appropriate sportsmanship behavior is an important part of our activities/events.

Any person, including an adult, who behaves in an unsportsmanlike manner during an athletic or co-curricular event may be ejected from the event the person is attending and/or denied admission to school events for up to a year, after a Board hearing. Examples of unsportsmanlike conduct include, but are not limited to:

            I.          using vulgar or obscene language or gestures;

            II.         possessing or being under the influence of any alcoholic beverage or illegal substance;

            III.       possessing a weapon;

            IV.        fighting or otherwise striking or threatening another person;

            V.         failing to obey the instructions of a security officer or school district employee; and

            VI.        engaging in any activity which is illegal or disruptive.

            VII.      threatening, abusive, or derogatory behavior towards any participating coach, player or game official, before, during or after the game.

The Superintendent may seek to deny future admission to any person, by delivering or mailing a notice, sent by certified mail with return receipt requested, containing:

            I.          The date, time, and place of a Board hearing;

            II.         A description of the unsportsmanlike conduct;

            III.       The proposed time period that admission to school events will be denied.



In addition to prohibitions stated in other District policies, no person on school property shall:


            I.          Injure or threaten to injure another person;

            II.         Damage another’s property or that of the District;

            III.       Violate any provision of the criminal law of the state of Montana or town or county ordinance;

            IV.        None of the following items will be sold or consumed on the premises by the requesting organization or individual or any of its employees, patrons, agents or members: Items include, but are not limited to, tobacco, drugs (illegal or prescription), alcohol, firearms, products that create community concern or any other tobacco related innovation.

            V.         Possess weapons (as defined in Policy 3310) at any time;

            VI.        Impede, delay, or otherwise interfere with the orderly conduct of the District’s educational program or any other activity occurring on school property;

            VII.       Enter upon any portion of school premises at any time for purposes other than those which are lawful and authorized by the Board; or

            VIII.      Willfully violate other District rules and regulations.

“School property” means within school buildings, in vehicles used for school purposes, or on owned or leased school grounds. District administrators will take appropriate action as circumstances warrant.




(1)        A person commits the offense of assault upon a sports official if, while a sports official is acting as an official at an athletic contest in any sport at any level of amateur or professional competition, the person:

(a)        purposely or knowingly causes bodily injury to the sports official;
(b)        negligently causes bodily injury to the sports official with a weapon;
(c)        purposely or knowingly makes physical contact of an insulting or provoking nature with the sports official; or
(d)        purposely or knowingly causes reasonable apprehension of bodily injury in the sports official.

(2)        A person convicted of assault upon a sports official shall be fined an amount not to exceed $1,000 or be imprisoned in the county jail for any term not to exceed 6 months, or both.


                                    History: En. Sec. 1, Ch. 408, L. 1993.



Association and Executive Board

Rules and Regulations


A. Statement of philosophy: The Montana High School Association has established policies, expectations and responsibilities which will cultivate the ideals of good sportsmanship. It shall be the responsibility of each member school to ensure that all individuals employed or directly associated with the inter-scholastic program conduct themselves in a sportsmanlike manner.


Because of incidents during past seasons, the MHSA member schools have been made aware of the need for crowd control measures at interscholastic contests. Believing that working toward prevention is better than seeking a cure, the MHSA offers the following guidelines to aid in planning crowd control strategy which will help insure the safety of contestants and fans. Good sportsmanship must become a common goal.

A. Schools should understand the true purposes of athletic contests and educate their patrons to that purpose.  Athletic contests are not to become rivalries to the point of losing the primary objectives of the game.

1. Provide worthwhile educational experiences for all students, players and spectators.

2. Provide enjoyable recreation regardless of whether the game is won or lost.

B. A full knowledge of each game’s rules applying to sportsmanship which have their purpose to enhance the educational values of interscholastic athletics should be taught. How these are taught will depend upon the innovation of the school personnel. Schools might be wise to insert in their eligibility rules some concern over the misconduct of players.

C. Copies of game rules pertaining to sportsmanship should be made available to fans.  These rules could be printed in the game programs, along with the sport’s recent rule changes. In the buildings where contests are being held, bulletin boards and other means of conveying the information can be used to inform the public.

D. Leadership must be provided by the school faculty with the superintendent, principal, and athletic director leading the way and delegating authority. The superintendent, principal and athletic director are completely responsible for the entire program, including all levels of competition.

1. This includes providing an event supervisor who will be responsible for duties including but not limited to game preparation, greeting of officials, and supervision of the game/event area for the duration of the event. Special attention must be given to the supervision of student cheering sections.

E. Ample help, even involving law enforcement officers, stationed at strategic points and alerted to potential problems will help prevent the initial onset of any conflict.

F. All schools should inform their people involved in any contest that there is a specific role for the visiting participants to play as well as the host school.

Amenities and courtesies should be displayed and extended to the visiting organizations without flaunting of rivalries.

G. Spectators should not be allowed to enter an area where a contest is being held if they are observed in the possession of alcohol or other mood altering substances or are believed to be under the influence of these substances.

H. Schools should eliminate possible confrontations by close observations of people who might contribute to any confrontation such as people under the influence of these mood altering substances or persons with a past history of unsporting behavior. If your team is traveling and you are aware of a likelihood of fan misbehavior, it is your responsibility to communicate those concerns with the game management of the host school.

I. In the event a spectator assaults a referee or other official in connection with an Association Contest, he/she should be prosecuted to the full extent of the law. To save the status of interscholastic competition, schools will have to work together and be alert of potential dangers in their own communities and when they are visiting other communities.

J. The use of bells, air horns, whistles, wooden blocks and other noise makers during indoor Association contests is prohibited.

At indoor contests bands may only play before the start of a contest, during intermissions between periods (quarters) and during a time out. They may not play during “live ball.” At outdoor contests band directors should use discretion when determining the appropriate times to play.

K. The formation of “rally lines” by spectators, fans and/or students on or near the playing field/floor during the introduction of players or at any other time before, during or after a game is prohibited. Exceptions may be cheerleaders, introduction of parents as part of a “Parents’ Night” ceremony, homecoming participants or special guests who have been approved by the home school administration.

L. Schools are required to erect sideline barriers for all football, soccer and softball fields during all contests.

M. During player introductions, players may not leave the playing floor or enter the spectator section; players may not throw objects into the spectator section.

N. Anyone associated with an Association contest (regular season or post season) is prohibited from throwing any type of object into or from any spectator section.


The responsibility of the players for sportsmanship is second in importance only to the coach. Because players are admired and respected, they exert a great deal of influence over the actions and behavior of the spectators. Desirable behavior for players would be to:

1.             Treat opponents with respect that is due them as guests and fellow human beings.

2.             Shake hands with opponents and wish them good luck before the contest.

3.             Exercise self-control at all times, accepting decisions and abiding by them.

4.             Respect the official’s judgment and interpretations of the rules. Never argue or make gestures indicating dislike for a decision.

 5.             Do not communicate with the officials regarding the clarification of a ruling.  This is the captains’ responsibility.

6.             Do not engage in celebrations/chants that will antagonize or embarrass an opponent.


1.             Stimulate and control crowd response.

2.             Choose the right cheers at the right time.

3.             Be certain that words used in a cheer do not inflame an audience.

4.             Avoid using bells, horns and noisemakers.

5.             Use gestures that are synchronized, pleasing to watch, and easy to follow.

6.             Divert the crowd’s attention by starting a positive yell if booing or improper cheers develop.

7.             Do not conduct a cheer at the same time as the visiting cheerleading squad.               

8.             School flags cannot be paraded in front of the opposing fans’ sections.

9.             School mascots cannot engage in antagonistic behavior and must remain in their own cheering section.

10.           Do not lead fans in any cheer that poses a safety risk, including fans jumping or bouncing on the bleachers at any time.


Fan behavior whether at home or away at athletic contests reflect on the entire community.  Hometown fans should treat out-of-town guests with respect. Similarly, visiting fans should treat their hosts—both individuals and property — with proper appreciation.  Students’ habits and reaction as spectators determine the quality of sportsmanship which reflects upon the reputation of the school.

Profane and abusive language and obnoxious behavior have no place at an athletic contest.

1.             Know and demonstrate good sportsmanship. Good sportsmanship means always being positive with your response to the contest.

2.             Be positive. Cheer for your team rather than against the opposition.

3.             Refrain from booing and name calling.

4.             Respect the officials’ point of view. He/she is in charge and is doing his/her best.

5.             Remember, athletic contests are, in one respect, just like driving, they do not mix with mood altering substances.

6.             Respect and cooperate with the cheerleaders.

7.             Respect the property of the school and the authority of the school officials.

8.             Show respect for an injured player and do not heckle or jeer the opposing team.

9.             Do not use profanity in cheers or direct profane statements at officials, players, coaches or opposing cheering sections.

10.           Do not single out opposing players personally and heckle them by directing derogatory or profane statements/chants at them. This includes signs, posters, and clothing that would be deemed inappropriate. Racist remarks are never acceptable.            

11.           Do not advance on the court or field to protest or communicate with officials, coaches or players.

12.           Do not direct offensive cheers/chants at opposing cheering sections.

13.           Shirts must be worn at all contests.

14.           The student sections are prohibited from any activity that poses a safety risk or interferes with competition, including jumping or bouncing on the bleachers at any time.






2.6 Ejections. Any student or coach who represents a school holding membership in the MHSA who is ejected from an interscholastic athletic competition for unsportsmanlike conduct involving schools which are members of the MHSA will not participate for the remainder of the event and will be suspended for the next regularly scheduled or rescheduled event at that level of competition and all other games/meets in the interim at any level of competition. In post season tournament wrestling the next event is defined as the next session for coaches; and for students the appropriate post season NFHS rules will be applied. A student cannot be in uniform while suspended.

A second violation will result in a four competition suspension in that sport by the offending student/coach. If penalties are imposed at the end of the sport season and no contests remain, the penalty is imposed the first contests in that particular sport in the next school year. In the case of a senior student, the penalty will continue to the next MHSA sponsored sport or activity.

A third violation will result in the student being suspended for the remainder of that sport season and for an additional ninety (90) Pupil Instruction days from the date of the championship event of that classification.

Appeal: The president of the conference may appoint a hearing officer/ board to hear any appeals, within 48 hours of the receipt of a complete report of the incident.  Appeals may not deal with decisions made by contest officials.