Rambunctious rooting for the home team and celebrations of success at the Cedaredge Bruins' Homecoming game against Aspen drew a yellow flag when the visiting team convinced the ref to have Cedaredge fans tone things down a bit.
But after a delayed review of the episode via the CHSAA rule book, it was found that the ref had been in error and that boisterous Bruin fans were playing by the rules.
The incident began with a complaint from the Aspen bench, as detailed in a report from the Cedaredge Police Department Chief Dan Sanders to the town trustees:
"At this year's Homecoming football game against Aspen, the police and fire department received a complaint from the Aspen athletic director regarding our tradition of lights and sirens after a Bruin score. This has been something we have participated in since I have been with the town and was something I suspect has been a long-time tradition. The complainer quoted CHSAA rules regarding noise makers as his grounds for the complaint. The referee at that time asked if we would refrain from using our lights and sirens for the remainder of the game, and in good sportsmanship style we did as asked. This caused some disdain from the parents and all of us emergency responders as we love to celebrate our kids and their accomplishment."
But that's not the end of the story. It wasn't to be an on-field instant replay that reversed the ref's call. Rather, it was a simple peek into the CHSAA rules book.
Turns out that the Cedaredge fans' hometown heroics were appropriate under CHSAA rules and that the ref in question had made a mistake.
The chief's report to the town board continued, "Based on this we decided to look the rule up ourselves and we found that there was not a violation and that actually there is a specific clause allowing for this type of activity.
"Officer Curtis provided this information to the high school principal and he also informed us that the referee that night had come in to apologize as they had found no violation after reviewing the rules..."
So not only is all the hometown whooping-it-up for the Bruin boys appropriate under CHSAA rules as interpreted in light of the Homecoming complaint, local fans are, of course, always respectful of the rules. As the chief's report concluded, "We always make sure that the sirens and air horns are activated during 'dead ball' periods and would not ever want to take away from the game itself. We have also made sure that if the game is a blowout and celebration would be insulting that we do not do this."
The chief's report then concludes with an enlightening observation: "It shows that sometimes just knowing the rules is much harder than it appears."