Interscholastic Division Crowd Control Procedures

Crowd Control


Cognizant of the need for crowd control, the Maine Principals’ Association and Maine Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Association, in upholding their traditions of proper maintenance of high school athletics, suggest the following procedures for crowd control. The main goals are the prevention of crowd disturbances at our sporting events; efficient crowd control maintenance and strict discipline among administrators, coaches, players, and spectators; and the safety of players, officials, coaches, and the spectators themselves.

Often, the hostility of the crowd is the reflection of hostility between the schools or coaches’ actions. Also, a crowd faced with disorganized, confused events is more prone to become hostile. The following recommendations strive to prevent hostility between the high schools and more efficiently conduct the events themselves.

Both the MPA and MIAAA support the local control aspect of a member school’s programs. The Associations therefore urge each school to become strongly involved within its own programs and the programs of its league or conference in fostering procedures that provide a wholesome atmosphere, an attitude of sportsmanship, and a safe experience for all students, athletes, and spectators at its athletic events.

School's Authority

The school board, the superintendent, or a school’s principal should appoint an individual to coordinate the supervision of athletic contests.

This may be the principal, assistant principal, athletic administrator, or site director.

Each school should take reasonable steps to provide for the safety of the athletes, students, officials, and spectators.

Crowd Control Procedures for Athletic Events

Efficient management of interscholastic athletic contests, both at home and away, is an increasingly important aspect of administering a high school athletic program. The following suggestions have been assembled to assist schools in preparing adequately for crowd control at athletic contests.

  • Pre-season and pre-game responsibilities are shared by both schools competing in any athletic contest.
  • Responsibilities during the game are shared by both schools, with the home school assuming the major role. A dual responsibility exists at a neutral site.
  • Post game responsibilities are shared by officials of both schools, local police, and the citizens of the community.
  • Advanced preparation of all details pertaining to athletic contests is necessary for efficient administration.

Procedures Before the Game

Home School

  • Develop an operational plan for each home event.
  • Contact the visiting school as early as possible to discuss the game, including prior and existing school/community control problems. If deemed necessary, a time and location of a pre-game security meeting should be confirmed.
  • Discuss any situations peculiar to your stadium (or gym) and send a map of the stadium and parking areas to the visiting school.
  • Formulate plans which provide directions and instructions for all visiting personnel regarding the safest routes, parking, seating and dismissal from bleachers, and loading and unloading buses and automobiles. Be alert to the impact of new construction projects. Post directions to all schools you will be playing on your website.
  • Evaluate the type of/use of pre-game music.
  • Evaluate the conditions and factors of on-site construction projects and the resultant impact on entrance and departure procedures.
  • Evaluate the use of separate spectator entrance/departure gates/doors.
  • Have parking areas well-lighted. Arrange for on-site parking of visitors’ autos and buses.
  • Have the stadium or gym secure and all gates you do not wish to use locked prior to the scheduled opening time. Keep in mind the need for an emergency exit.
  • Arrange for supervision to continue until all visitors have left the area, including the team bus. If police are present, have them in the parking lot following the contest.
  • Prepare a supervision chart and inform, in writing, the assigned personnel of their duties before the game. (Persons on duty from both schools should have some type of identification-arm bands, badges, etc.)
  • Evaluate the location of spectator seating and team locker rooms. Teams should not enter/leave in front of the opponent’s seating area. Arrange appropriate accommodations for the handicapped.
  • Lightning policy/procedure should be available and reviewed by coaches and officials.
  • Schools should consider investing in a lightning detector.
  • Provide for adequate police supervision before, during, and after the game.
    • Be sure that there is both inside and outside police supervision at games including off-site parking areas and streets.
    • Make arrangements with local police departments at the highest level possible in order that adequate police protection will be available to control the spectators at the conclusion of the contest. Develop a plan of action in cooperation with the police for measures to be taken in the event of trouble. Review prior and existing school/community control problems, along with gang activity. Crisis prevention should be part of the review.
    • Develop in consultation with police, emergency evacuation plans relating to activated fire alarms, bomb threats, and other inappropriate acts of violence.
    • Arrange for diverting traffic away from the athletic field or gym so that spectators leaving the game can do so quickly.
    • Work with local police to provide “no parking” signs around the stadium or gym, blocking off streets if needed, and arranging for one-way traffic where necessary.
    • Give specific instructions to auxiliary police, volunteer boosters, and faculty members hired by the school concerning their responsibilities; the athletic administrator should provide further instructions and direction to paid auxiliary police, ushers, and faculty members at the game.
    • Stagger police scheduling, so that all police will not arrive and leave at the same time.
    • All security personnel should be readily identifiable by the public. Prevention, not apprehension after trouble begins, should be emphasized.
    • Make use of video technology whenever possible. You may wish to video your student section.
  • Arrange for supervision to continue until all visitors have left the area, including the team bus.
  • Depending on local conditions, you may wish to advise ticket sellers to screen for troublemakers and group agitators. In some communities, it may be necessary to consider the advisability of not admitting elementary and junior high students unless accompanied by adults. Representatives from the visiting school should screen for known troublemakers from their school/community. Such individuals should be turned away prior to admission.
    • Implement a board of education approved “Objectionable Persons” policy (Non-admittance to known troublemakers and group agitators).
  • Instruct the operator of the video taping equipment to record all incidents of inappropriate behavior.
  • Have all special seating areas roped off prior to opening the gates. Use school service club members (Key Club, student council, etc.) for ushers.
  • Provide reserved seats for bands. The amount of time they will have for halftime activities should be known to them and should be strictly observed. Consider using them as a “buffer zone” between student sections.
  • Seat students from opposing schools in separate sections. Seating for home and visiting spectators should be adequate. Seats and tickets should be numbered. Spectators should remain on their side of the field or gymnasium throughout the contest. Do not oversell the facility. Keep general admission spectators separate from student sections if possible.
  • Arrange for interested parents and patrons to assist with the supervision of the general admission section.
  • Check fire code for seating capacity and other recommendations.
  • Keep in mind the number of security and other personnel in addition to ticket purchases.
  • The home athletic administrator should meet the visiting team members when they arrive and direct them to their dressing quarters. A good-sized room, a blackboard and chalk, a training table, benches, chairs, and drinking water should be provided. It may be necessary to ask opponents to come dressed for the game if the visiting team’s quarters are not adequate.
  • Provide security measures to protect visitors’ clothing and valuables while the visitors are on the field or court. All valuables for home and visiting athletes should be kept in a gym bag monitored by an assigned individual during the contest. The playing field or court and the area immediately adjacent to it at all athletic contests shall be restricted to team members, coaches, managers, officials, and other parties necessary to the conduct of the game. Student or faculty associates should wear something distinctive so that they may easily be identified. Sufficient personnel should be provided by the host school to enforce this regulation. The visiting school shall see that this rule is enforced in their area. Schools must bear a dual responsibility when playing at a neutral site.
  • The athletic administrator should emphasize to game officials the importance of keeping the game under control.
  • Give checks to officials before the game. Provide them with an “escort” off the field or court.
  • Take care in the preparation, printing, and sale of athletic programs. Correct names and numbers, major rule changes and interpretations, plus statements concerning spectator behavior have proved effective. The following message has been adopted by the National Federation of State High School Athletic Associations and may be considered for inclusion in game programs and should be announced several times throughout the game during breaks for time-outs, quarters, halves, etc.

These are high school athletes who are performing here tonight. They are friendly rivals as members of opposing teams.

This basically, is the theme of interscholastic athletics…the idea of friendly competition. The visiting team tonight, and in every interscholastic game, is a guest of the home team.

The officials are people who, by agreement between competing teams, are assigned to administer the rules of the game. Their experience and their integrity qualify them for their part in this friendly interscholastic contest. This attitude of sportsmanship should be reflected by all spectators, no matter what their personal feelings of loyalty may be to one or the other of the teams in tonight’s contest.

  • Arrange for adequate concessions as a service to spectators. If possible, a concession stand should be available on both sides of the stadium at football games. Evaluate discontinuing concessions at highly contested indoor events.
  • Have a custodian check rest rooms for sanitation and supplies before game time and during the contest. Separate rest rooms should be provided for visitors.
  • Check game facilities. The condition of the field or court should be checked before the game for hazardous conditions, cleanliness, and for proper markings. Special attention should be given to the position of fences and players’ benches.
  • Consider having a physician or athletic trainer present at all heavy contact athletic contests. The home team physician or trainer may be made available to the visiting team if the visiting team does not bring its own physician to the contest.
  • Have properly trained adult scorers and timers for officials at games. The same individuals should be used the entire season. Have a backup for each position fully trained.
  • Assign an official or competent person to take charge of the scoreboard.
  • The announcer is a key person and carries a great deal of responsibility. What is said and how it is said may have serious effects on crowd behavior.
    • The game should be reported without showing favoritism to teams or players.
    • Proper language should be used at all times.
    • Announcers can show enthusiasm without losing control.
    • Plays, first downs, time-outs, or touchdowns should not be anticipated.
    • Only those in charge of the event should be permitted to use the microphone.
    • Under no circumstances should officials’ decisions be criticized directly or indirectly.
  • Emphasis must be placed upon restraint in littering a facility with confetti, toilet tissue, decorative streamers, and the like. Failure to comply could result in punitive action, including fines to cover the cleanup costs. The NFHS rules for most indoor events prohibit the use of noisemakers.
  • For evening events, be alert to a possible loss of power. Have in place:
    • A security light with a battery backup installed (home and away side of the field).
    • Knowledge of the location of emergency energy resources.
    • An exit plan for teams and spectators. Review the plan in advance with coaches, security staff, police, and custodians.
    • Ticket refund plan.
    • Available working flashlights.

Visiting School

  • Contact the home school or neutral site manager to discuss game preparations and obtain information on:
    • Safest route to and from stadium or gymnasium.
    • Location of visitors’ parking area.
    • Visitors’ entering and exit gates.
    • Visitors’ seating area.
    • Prior and existing school/community control problems.
    • Time and location of pre-game security meeting.
    • Facilities for the handicapped.
    • Admission fee.
  • Consider transporting students by bus if there is inadequate parking at the stadium.
  • Include the cost of bus transportation in student tickets when travel is by bus only.
  • Student buses should have staff supervision.
  • Have adequate faculty and administrative supervision going to the game, at the game, and after the game. Provide identification for school personnel. Establish an acknowledgement of attendance with home management.
  • Consider asking interested parents and patrons to help with supervision.
  • Provide information to students regarding travel, parking, entrance, seating, and exit.
  • Check on amount of time allotted for band or other halftime activities and adhere strictly to the time limit.

Dual Responsibilities

  • Ask student councils to help by planning campaigns for spectator sportsmanship.
  • Only the school banner or sportsmanship creed should be displayed and placed on the participant’s side of the field.
  • Be alert to prior and existing community or cross-community and gang control problems.
    • Provide home or neutral site management with listing and staff to implement “Objectionable Persons” policy (if used at visiting school’s home events).
  • Monitor and stop inappropriate chants and cheers.

During the Game

  • Visiting school principals or athletic administrators should contact the host athletic administrator immediately upon arrival to discuss final details to indicate seat locations so that parties are available to each other.
  • Separate rest rooms and concession booths should be available where possible.
  • Have adequate police, faculty, and patrons distributed among the students and other spectators. Assign someone to help control spectator behavior in the vicinity of the players’ bench.
  • At sold-out contests, clear the site of fans who could not gain admission.
  • Prepare a plan for acquiring police backup if necessary.
  • Meet faculty supervisors from the visiting school and acquaint them with their areas.
  • Employ a walkie-talkie system, tied into the police.
  • Keep lines of communication open with administrators from the visiting school.
  • Assign a responsible adult, other than the coach, to assist the trainer, attend to injured players, and, if necessary, to accompany them to the hospital.
  • Provide for supervision during halftime. Whether or not there is halftime entertainment, supervision is necessary to help direct the crowd, keep all spectators off the playing area, and keep the under-the-stands area cleared.
  • Maximum available lighting shall be utilized during any contest and shall not be restricted to the area of competition.

After the Game

  • At the discretion of the athletic administrator, the sportsmanship handshake between coaches and team members will take place at the conclusion of the game. When awards are presented, all team members and coaches will remain on the court/field at the conclusion of the game until award presentations have concluded. Following the ceremony, teams will immediately return to their respective locker rooms.
  • Use the public address system to give directions to students and spectators regarding exiting from the stands and staying off the playing surface.
  • Provide police and faculty supervision until all students and spectators are well dispersed. Permit no loitering.
  • Provide an escort with a key to the locker room for officials.
  • Check supervision of all areas; provide continuous security for locker room area.
  • Assign someone to assist the police in dispersing hangers-on who wait for the team after the game.
  • Buses loaded with fans, band, and team should depart, with police escort, immediately after the game.
  • Administrators of both schools should confer before leaving to be sure that all details have been addressed.
  • Discourage spectators from leaving before the end of the contest.
  • When deemed necessary, have police escort officials to their cars and buses to the city/town limit.
  • Letters of appreciation should be sent to the opposing school, coaches, officials, and newspapers, if appropriate.

Guidelines for Cheerleaders

  • Instead of exchanging cheers, the host school cheerleaders should go to the visiting side and greet the visiting cheerleaders. All cheerleaders of both schools should lead a cheer for the visitor’s section and follow with a cheer for the home section. Cheerleading advisors, coaching staffs, and other game management advisors should meet to discuss the importance of spectator and player sportsmanship.
  • Cheerleaders’ functions are to make a positive contribution to a good spectator reaction at an athletic contest and to create better relations between opposing supporters.
  • Cheers should be positive, not aimed at antagonizing an opponent. Care should be taken in making certain that words used in a cheer are not suggestive and do not have a connotation which would inflame an audience.
  • Cheerleaders should remain silent when the opponents’ cheerleaders are cheering and during free throws at basketball games.
  • Cheerleaders are expected to lead the cheer group in a round of applause for an injured player from either team leaving the game. Positive cheering is appropriate.
  • When “booing” occurs, the cheerleaders should attempt to stop it with a “waving off” motion of the hands. It is important that any booing is waved off immediately. If the booing becomes louder, the cheerleaders should help to divert the crowd’s attention by starting a popular yell routine. Immediate action is the key to the control of booing.
  • Cheerleaders, properly trained, can be as important to the spectator behavior as the coach is to his/her team.
  • Student bodies and teams will react as they are instructed, inspired, and led by neat and well-poised cheerleaders.

Special Responsibilities


  • Police should arrive in sufficient time before game starting time and report to the principal or his/her representative to request instructions, such as best locations for observation, nearest phone, etc.
  • During the game, officers should be requested to assist in controlling the following:
    • Non-students seated in student sections who may cause disturbances.
    • Any person appearing to be under the influence of alcohol or other substances must be denied admission to the event.
    • Any suspicious gathering of individuals in rest rooms, behind the stadium, in the parking areas, or elsewhere.
    • Loiterers should be asked to move on and crowds dispersed outside the gym once the game is sold out.
    • Police should play an active role in supporting staff as they prevent spectators from coming on to the field/court.
  • Police traveling with visiting team should clear their attendance with the home school police department prior to the day of the event.


High school coaches influence not only the conduct of players under their supervision but also the behavior of many spectators.

  • In dealing with the officials, the coach’s approach must be businesslike at all times. The coach must exercise self-control and realize that the official sees through impartial and unbiased eyes. Coaches must familiarize themselves with the proper procedure for requesting a conference with an official.
  • Coaches must be sensitive to situations, such as athletes losing control of themselves, and remove potential troublemakers from the game before difficulty begins. Head coaches are responsible for the conduct of their entire staff.
  • Coaches who repeatedly conduct themselves in an unsportsmanlike manner shall be subject to sanction by the Maine Principals’ Association’s Interscholastic Management Committee.


The less notice the player takes of the spectators and the more he/she concentrates on his/her part in the game, the more absorbed the crowd will be and the less likely to misbehave.

  • Players should refrain from showing surprise or irritation at a call by an official. The official’s ruling, just or unjust, should be accepted with politeness.
  • “Playing to the crowd” can cause trouble--particularly in basketball where the players’ facial expressions are clearly visible to the bench and stands. Players should not communicate with the spectators.
  • Unsportsmanlike gesturing or the harassing of individual opponents should be avoided.
  • Substitutes on the bench should not heckle the opposing team.
  • The relationship of players to each other before, during, and after the game affects and helps establish crowd rapport.


  • Should contact the site director (home athletic administrator) in advance to request accommodations.
  • Should not be located in a space whereby they may interfere with action in the playing area.
  • Should not be permitted to conduct post-game interviews in the playing area.
  • Should be provided free individual admission to members of the media who present appropriate credentials.


Spectator sportsmanship may be encouraged in the following ways:

  • Student councils can develop codes of sportsmanship.
  • Cheerleaders and bands can help promote good sportsmanship.
  • Sportsmanship rating forms are helpful.
  • Sportsmanship awards can be given to encourage good conduct.
  • Pep boosters can promote better sportsmanship.
  • The pre-game atmosphere is improved if spectator participation is encouraged. Standing and singing “The Star-Spangled Banner” is one opportunity for such participation. Hats/caps should be removed.
  • Handbooks on regulations dealing with crowd conduct are helpful.
  • Disorderly persons should be removed promptly.
  • Posters can be used to stress courtesy and sportsmanship.
  • Noisemakers and drunkenness should not be permitted and, if found, addressed quickly.
  • Students should sit as a group.

Students and adult spectators who have a general knowledge of game rules and of officials’ techniques and signals seldom cause disturbances at athletic contests.

The Threat

  • Take all threats seriously.
  • An improperly handled threat can be worse than an actual incident.
  • A properly coordinated level of response thwarts the purpose of the threat.

Contest Officials

Section I -- School’s Responsibilities to an Official Prior to the Season

  • Send a reminder card to the officials after you have them scheduled.
  • Reminder cards should include the date of contest, time, level, location, and sport.
  • Utilize the MPA’s standard game fee for different sports and levels. (See the MPA Handbook)
  • Hire police and security along with a medical assistant or trainer coverage for events whenever possible.

Section II -- School’s Responsibility to an Official Prior to the Contest

  • Prior to the contest, provide the officials with directions and inform them of any special activities that might be occurring (i.e., homecoming, senior night, etc.)
  • Give the official a number he/she can call in case of an emergency or postponement due to weather.
  • Have competent workers assigned at all contests (scorers, announcers, chain crew, etc.). These people are of great assistance to the official during the contest.
  • Have a host assigned to meet the officials as they arrive. The host should do the following for the officials:
  • Provide a reserved parking space.
  • Meet officials and take them to the dressing room.
  • Have refreshments available for halftime and postgame.
  • Ask for any additional needs.
  • Have the escort or preferably the athletic administrator introduce the officials to those game workers pertinent to the contest (i.e. scorer, announcer, chain gang, etc.)
  • Get the proper pronunciation of officials’ names so they are correct when given to the public address announcer.
  • Athletic administrator should discuss with the officials any special events, conference rules, national anthem time, etc. that would affect the game.
  • Provide the officials with the name of the adult supervisor for the contest and where he/she can be found in the event a challenging situation should occur.
  • Make officials aware of the location of trainer or paramedics during the contest.
  • Make sure all bench personnel are properly attired.
  • Do a check on game scoreboards and lighting systems prior to the game or contest.
  • Make sure the playing area is properly marked and meets National Federation guidelines for that contest.

Section III -- School’s Responsibility to an Official During the Contest

  • Insist coaches display good sportsmanship and are proper examples for players and crowds.
  • Make sure the event supervisor understands the duties and responsibilities pertinent to the contest.
  • Make sure the playing area is maintained during halftime of each contest.
  • Make sure proper crowd control is visible and in place.
  • Observe the crowd during the contest and prevent any disturbances that may occur.
  • Work with the officials during the game regarding crowd control.
  • Retrieve the game ball at the end of the contest.
  • Escort the officials back to the dressing room at halftime and at the conclusion of the contest.

Section IV -- School’s Responsibility to an Official After the Contest

  • Escort the officials safely back to the dressing room.
  • Do not allow unauthorized persons in the dressing room after the game.
  • Have refreshments available for the officials after the contest.
  • Be sure to thank the officials for their time and effort, regardless of the outcome of the game.
  • Make sure arrangements for paying the officials have been completed.
  • Provide for their safety as they leave the building.

Other Considerations

  • Post a copy of the crowd control policy in a conspicuous place in the gym and/or lobby.
  • When crowds are anticipated to be large, conduct a pre-game sale of tickets.
  • If prior circumstances indicate the possibility of problems, change the time of the game to the afternoon.
  • Prior to the event, evaluate the format of all music.
  • Eliminate pre-game music if necessary.
  • Provide free admission to faculty members accompanying the visiting team. (Advance notice should be given.)
  • In gymnasium/arena settings, do not allow spectators in the first row or rows of bleachers/seats. Reserve these seats for cheerleaders, administrators, security, press, or keep vacant.
  • Make use of video technology whenever possible.
  • Busses (team/spectator)
    • Unload/load/park in well-lighted, predetermined locations.
    • Vehicles from opposing schools should not be together or intermixed.
    • Check prior to the end of the contest that the busses are in the proper location.
    • Portable mid-court security barriers (rope/movable fence/personnel)
  • For indoor contests, at the end of the game consider:
    • Portable mid-court security barriers (rope/movable fence/personnel)
    • Have losing team leave first. Hold winning team in seats (announce).
  • Schools and conferences should include these among the prohibited activities of student spirit sections:
    • Booing officials or opponents at any time.
    • Holding up newspapers during the introduction of the opposing team and/or shouting “Who cares?” after each individual introduction.
    • Pointing and chanting “You, you, you” after fouls. Pointing to the goalkeeper and chanting “sieve” after a goal in ice hockey.
    • Near the end of games, chanting “We’re No. 1. We’re No. 1” or singing “Na, na, na, hey, hey, goodbye.”

Planning for Emergencies

Pre-Game Emergency Check-Up

  • Survey playing field/surface. Remove hazards, check surface conditions, weather conditions.
  • Check preparation and placement of all training equipment. Organize so personnel are aware of where equipment will be.
  • Check with opposing athletic administrator and trainer as to availability of doctor, EMT’s, etc.
  • Check for telephone availability.
  • Establish/communicate policies and emergency procedures regarding: a.) fire; b.) drinking and possession of alcoholic beverages; c.) possession, use, or sale of drugs; d.) medical emergencies; e.) lost and found articles; f.) bringing foods, beverages, radios, and tape decks into the gym or stadium; g.) bomb threats; h.) alternatives in case of score clocks, lighting, or other facility failures; and i.) transportation problems.

Game Emergency Plan

If the emergency is life threatening:

  • Activate Emergency Medical Services (EMS): athletic administrator, trainer, assistant coach (911).
  • Give the following information: Your name, location, emergency type, and patient information. Always hang up last – this will assure they have all the information they need.
  • Notify hospital emergency room.
  • Coaches and support staff assist with first aid and CPR if needed – getting equipment that is needed.
  • Athletic administrator/trainer should notify parents – provide this information sheet if parents are there to assist.
  • Personnel not involved in care should assist with crowd control. Assisting EMS in entering field, guiding them to the site.
  • Assist in athlete removal from the field/building. Provide assistance as needed by EMS and trainer.
  • School personnel (athletic administrator, assistant coach, etc.) should accompany the athlete(s) to hospital – mandatory if parents are not available.

If the emergency is not life threatening:

  • Same procedure as above. May or may not use ambulance depending on injury.
  • If being carried to hospital by private vehicle, still alert hospital that they will have a patient.

Post-Game Follow-Up

  • Trainer and coach should go to the hospital. Follow-up with athlete and parents.
  • Double check to assist out-of-town players.
  • Follow-up with athlete and physicians on rehabilitation at school.


Participation in sound and wholesome athletic programs contributes to health, physical skill, instructional maturity, social competencies, and moral values. Cooperation and competition are both important components of American life; therefore, the opportunity to experience athletic games should be a part of the education of all youth who attend our secondary schools.

To achieve the proper goals of athletics, the schools and public must be informed concerning the role of athletic education. School athletics are a potential educative force that is not always properly used and that is too often misused. We, in Maine, are in a position to utilize athletics as a part of the educational program by continuing to develop the responsibilities which belong to the state, the school, the community, and our associations. There is every reason to believe that if this is done, communities will recognize those contributions school athletics can make, and be willing to aid in all efforts to stimulate and motivate the establishment of sound policies and wholesome practices for the secondary schools of Maine.

Through the untiring efforts and dedication of the member schools of the MPA and MIAAA, these associations will continue to maintain the quality of excellence in the program of interscholastic athletics for the boys and girls of the State of Maine.

Violence-free sporting events are vital to Maine’s high school athletic programs. This booklet, hopefully, will promote the enjoyable participation of students in the sporting events of their schools.

Addendum (Maine statutes)

Title 17-A § 501, Disorderly conduct

Disorderly Conduct

A person is guilty of disorderly conduct if:

  • In a public place, he/she intentionally or recklessly causes annoyance to others by intentionally:
    • Making loud and unreasonable noises;
    • Activating a device or exposing a substance which releases noxious and offensive odors; or
    • Engaging in fighting, without being licensed or privileged to do so;
  • In a public or private place, he/she knowingly accosts, insults, taunts, or challenges any person with offensive, derisive, or annoying words, or by gestures or other physical conduct, which would in fact have a direct tendency to cause a violent response by an ordinary person in the situation of the person so accosted, insulted, taunted, or challenged; or
  • In a private place, the person makes loud and unreasonable noise that can be heard by another person, who may be a law enforcement officer, as unreasonable noise in a public place or in another private place, after having been ordered by a law enforcement officer to cease the noise.
  • [1977, c. 510, § 55 (rp).]
  • As used in this section:
    • “Public place” means a place to which the public at large or a substantial group has access, including but not limited to
      • public ways as defined in section 505;
      • schools, government-owned custodial facilities, and
      • the lobbies, hallways, lavatories, toilets and basement portions of apartment houses, hotels, public buildings and transportation terminals;
    • “Private place” means any place that is not a public place.
  • Disorderly conduct is a Class E crime.

Title 17-A § 106, Physical force by persons with special responsibilities

  • A teacher or other person entrusted with the care or supervision of a person for special and limited purposes is justified in using a reasonable degree of force against any such person who creates a disturbance when and to the extent that he reasonably believes it necessary to control the disturbing behavior or to remove a person from the scene of such disturbance.
  • A person required by law to enforce rules and regulations, or to maintain decorum or safety, in a vessel, aircraft, vehicle, train or other carrier, or in a place where others are assembled, may use nondeadly force when and to the extent that he reasonably believes it necessary for such purposes.


Any questions regarding this booklet can be addressed to:

Maine Principals’ Association
50 Industrial Drive ~ P.O. Box 2468
Augusta, ME 04338-2468
Telephone: (207) 622-0217 - Fax: (207) 622-1513
E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. - Website:


Maine Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Association
Martin E. Ryan, CMAA
E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. – Website:

The MPA and MIAAA would like to express their appreciation to the
New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association
for its support in publishing this booklet.

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