Heckling vs Taunting

With Spring League EOS and the Hustle’s home opener rapidly approaching, it’s time to polish our wit and prepare our best heckling game! But when does heckling cross the line from delightful bonding to destructive taunting?

Here’s a great perspective from Skyd Magazine’s Robyn Wiseman:


One of Robyn’s best points is that not all heckling is created equal, and not all players should be heckled in the same way (or, for that matter, at all). As she says,

I get that heckling is inherent to our sport’s culture, but in my experience the best hecklers resort to more clever tactics than, “you’re terrible so you should quit” or “you suck, why do you even play?” The best hecklers are playful, not downright nasty or mean. The teams and athletes in any sport that I most admire are those who celebrate how awesome their teams are without putting their opponents down.

Telling a new player that s/he sucks isn’t heckling; it’s destructive. Mocking opponents because you’re mad that they beat you also isn’t heckling; it reflects far worse on you than on them. Taunting a player on the field who you’ve just skyed is just senseless (and a violation of SoTG). However, creatively jabbing a close friend who you know will take your comments as the signs of love they are is both an art and a venerable part of our culture.

So pull out your beers and folding chairs and bring on your best heckling game!

Article by Spirit Chair, Cat Prueitt.

Photo by Christina Schmidt.

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