New London – A disruption at a recent New London High School boys’ basketball game when spectators ran onto the court led to a new mandate requiring all students to attend basketball games -ball at home are accompanied by an adult.
The new requirement requires parents or guardians attending these games to remain seated with students throughout the game. The measure will be in place at all girls’ and boys’ home basketball games for at least the next two weeks, but will be reassessed later this month, New London School superintendent Cynthia said on Tuesday. Richie.
The school district informed the school community of the change in an email Monday. The advisory also reminds spectators that they must adhere to the expectations for sportsmanship outlined by the Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference, which will be read at the start of each game.
The changes come following a basketball game between New London High School and Fitch High School on Thursday in New London that ended in the third quarter when tempers flared and jostling between players ensued. Some fans ran onto the field, where punches appear to have been thrown, video from the televised games.
New London school officials who reviewed video of the match said the scuffle involved three arm swings, two which missed and another which made contact with the back of one’s shoulder individual. The incident lasted approximately 13 seconds before the situation was broadcast.
“Staff took quick action to identify and discipline those involved,” Ritchie said in an email.
In addition to the administrators, Ritchie said there were six security guards present at Thursday’s game. They are part of a security team present at the games, most of whom work as security personnel during the regular school day.
New London Police Chief Brian Wright said police were called to the school on game night to reports of a crowd outside. Officers arrived to find a crowd and stayed at the school until the crowd dispersed. There have been no reports of criminal activity and no arrests, he said.
Wright said police department officers are available for hire at sporting events at the request of the school district. The department treats these requests as private duties and any available volunteers would be assigned to the sporting event.
Wright said he had ongoing conversations with the school district but was unaware as of Tuesday of a request for police at future games.
The result of the disruption in Thursday’s game was that one player from each team received technical fouls and a third Fitch High School player received a flagrant foul and was ejected from the game, according to Dan Scavone, Director of the CIAC Officials Association.
On Tuesday, the Connecticut Eastern Conference announced the locations for the upcoming men’s and women’s basketball tournaments. The girls’ semi-final bracket was moved from New London High School to Fitch High School in Groton.
Jim Buonocore, athletic director of Ledyard and president of Connecticut Eastern Conference men’s basketball, said the ECC committee met late last week and finalized the schedule for the tournament. New London had offered to host tournament matches and was originally scheduled to do so, he said.
The ECC instead “decided not to accept the offer at this time. We went in another direction,” Buonocore said. He declined to make any correlation between Thursday’s incident and the ECC’s decision.
“We liked their offer, but we opted for other sites,” he said. “We certainly continue to evaluate all of our sites every year.”
The ECC is an interscholastic sports league with 18 participating high schools. The sporting directors of New London and Groton were not immediately available for comment.