Originally written on Bush League Chronicle  |  Last updated 10/30/14

Anyone who has ever participated in a competitive sport knows very well that trash talking is simply a part of the game. Just ask one of the most notorious trash talkers of all-time: Michael Jordan. Jordan is also considered one of the best to ever play the game of basketball.However, high school athletes in New Jersey will soon be prohibited to engage in such smack after the New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association (NJSIAA) and the office of the Attorney General of New Jersey announced a set of new rules on Thursday.Beginning this fall, the NJSIAA, which sets rules and regulations governing high school athletics, will enforce new rules that will make it clear that harassing conduct related to race, gender, ethnicity, disability, sexual orientation, or religion is unsportsmanlike and will not be tolerated at high school events.The new rules — which apply to all public, parochial, and private school members of the NJSIAA — also will require officials to report this conduct to the NJSIAA, which may investigate the incident and will, in turn, notify the state. If such comments are heard, officials can immediately assess penalties. Coaches will be responsible to remind their players about this policy.Under NJSIAA sportsmanship rules, any student-athlete or coach who is cited before, during or after an interscholastic event for unsportsmanlike and flagrant verbal or physical misconduct will be disqualified from participating in the next two regularly scheduled events, or in the case of football, disqualified from the next game. There you have it, folks. Don't expect to be hearing anything by pleasant exchanges between athletes from now on in the Garden State.Although you would be hard-pressed to find anyone who objects to the type of trash talk these new rules are designed to negate, it is silly to believe that trash talking will cease to exist altogether.Via USA TODAY


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