Column: Guidelines for proper basketball manners

By on November 21, 2012

Junior guard Russ Smith led the University of Louisville men’s basketball team in scoring during last Thursday’s game agianst Sanford University with 18 points. He also made a career-high, four three-point shots in the game.

By Haley O’Shaughnessy–

During the holidays, people seem to put forth maximum effort to be presentable. We put napkins on our laps, chew with our mouths closed and smile politely when Grandma buys us socks…again. We try so hard to come across as polite, but it could be argued that we are channeling that energy to the wrong place during the holiday season. It is time to put that effort where it deserves to be: basketball games.

With blessings like a beautiful arena, a women’s team ranked 10th  and a men’s team ranked 2nd , we should all bring forth our best basketball behavior to games. After all, in the magical world of the KFC Yum! Center, holiday woes seem to disappear; smelly relatives are replaced by fellow fans, fake smiles are replaced by real excitement and burned turkeys are replaced by smoked opponents. With that being said, here is some common basketball arena etiquette.

1. Do not: leave the game early. The players dedicate their time; fans should appreciate that with giving back their own time to cheer the team on. No one likes the person who leaves early, and when said person gets boo-ed, it is perfectly within the etiquette rules to boo along.

2. Do not: wear the wrong colors. The wrong colors are anything except for red, white, black, in some special cases yellow and in respect of last year’s tournament run, infrared. The two exceptions to this rule are if the fan should opt to wear a costume, which is encouraged, or in the case of a themed game.

3. Do not: boo the home team or coach. There is nothing worse than boo-ing the team a fan came out to support. Above all, fans should back up their teams and coaches. However, feel free to boo the refs briefly when they mess up, which, according to our fan section, is quite frequently, and also, feel free to boo students that leave early for no reason—see number one.

4. Do: take the seat earned. While the seats in the student section are assigned, there is an unwritten rule about them: If a fan does not show up until the third quarter and said fan expects his or her seat to be open, then he or she will find that the seat has been taken, and justly so. What kind of crazy person shows up in the third quarter?

5. Do not: be that fan. “That fan” files under drunk, belligerent, ignorant, loud in a negative way, picking fights, throwing drinks, throwing the bird, throwing up or the absolute worst of all, cheering for the other team.

There are other unspoken rules, but the importance is really on focusing that energy into supporting the team. So throw down that napkin, throw on a Louisville shirt and get to the next home game, ready to politely tell the other team, “Better luck next time.”

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Photo: Austin Lassell/The Louisville Cardinal

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