Attendance restrictions in place for Martinsville basketball games after fight at previous game

Published: Jan. 20, 2023 at 4:48 PM EST
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

MARTINSVILLE, Va. (WDBJ) - During the final seconds of the high school boys basketball game Wednesday night, heated fans rushed onto the gym floor, causing a disturbance.

“It was a rivalry team that we were playing,” said TJ Slaughter, Director of School Safety for Martinsville Schools. “It was a close game. There was, from my understanding, some talking back and forth and some taunting. I know games get heated, but that that’s not going be tolerated from our school division.”

No one was injured during the incident, but after the game, two students believed to be non-athletes got into a physical fight in the parking lot of the middle school.

As a result, only student athletes, their parents or guardians and school officials are allowed into the basketball games until further notice.

“We just need to take a step back and review our procedures for our games and see if there’s anything that we can put in place to make it safer for our community,” added Slaughter.

School administration is reviewing footage from the game, and anyone involved in the incident will be banned from all sporting events at Martinsville City Schools.

Slaughter says there is discussion of building a new gym to increase safety because the current one is one of the oldest in the state.

“It was built back in the ‘60s and it poses a lot of challenges. Spectators are close. We’ve always worried about the safety of the spectators and athletes getting hurt because it is such an old gym,” explained Slaughter.

Slaughter said they have not decided how long the attendance restrictions will be in place.