CAMBRIDGE — An incident following a boys’ college basketball game at Cambridge-South Dorchester High School on January 9 has resulted in changes to the schedule and the way games can be watched by spectators.
After the game, a group of students and fans gathered around a North Caroline High School bus, with some individuals boarding the bus to confront one of the visiting players. Although violence was averted, the ugly scene has led to consequences and an investigation.
On January 5, following disruptions during a game at North Dorchester High School hosted by C-SD, Dorchester County Public Schools broadcast a reminder to all students and families regarding appropriate behavior and expectations for spectators and student athletes.
A Jan. 10 message from C-SD’s student union director, Kirk Howie, said the boys’ and girls’ basketball games that day would be postponed. He added: “Furthermore, pending the outcome of the investigation, there will be no spectators at home games for the immediate future. These issues may result in game schedules being changed to potentially include alternate game start times and days.”
As word of the behavior spread, other schools in the area made changes.
On January 10, Easton High School principal Sherry Spurry said in reference to a game against C-SD scheduled for January 12: “Out of caution following a recent incident at a sporting event between Cambridge South Dorchester and a Elsewhere, I made the decision to limit attendance at Thursday’s basketball games. The decision was made with athlete safety as a priority.”
In a Jan. 13 statement to parents and the general public, Nikki VonDenBosch, principal at Colonel Richardson High School, said: “Due to recent events and as a precautionary measure, I have made the decision to limit attendance on Tuesday (January 17) Basketball games at CRHS. This decision was made with everyone’s safety as a priority. Each CRHS athlete will receive four entry tickets for their parent/guardian/family member and C-SD athletes will receive two entry tickets. Each person must have a spectator ticket to participate and then purchase a ticket to enter the game. Student safety will continue to be a top priority at Colonel Richardson High School.”
A January 13 email to Mr Howie’s parents said that while local schools would be in touch regarding specific changes, the general restrictions are as of the week of January 16 and for the duration of the winter season :
- A maximum of four tickets are issued per student athlete.
- Ticket requests will be made available to athletes for adults over 21 and children under 12. Entry will not be granted to young adults aged 13-20.
- The distributed ticket form must be presented at the entrance to purchase entry to the event.
- Schools may restrict all viewers to certain events due to prior disruption or safety concerns.
- Schools are working to provide a live stream or online method of watching games and will be distributing this information.
- Varsity events are held as a first or earlier start, usually 4pm, followed by junior varsity. In the case of a required triple header, the start time would be 3:30 p.m
- Cheerleaders will be included in the decision and given the same ticket option.
Mr Howie wrote: “DCPS regrets having to return to such extreme measures, particularly given that the majority of our students and community are showing the pride and support of the community and school in a respectful manner, but safety will continue to be on at the forefront of school function and activities are for students, staff and society. We will continue to monitor and adjust event security protocols as needed now and in the future.”