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A week ago, during a B Division basketball match, Wong Keng Yang from Unity Secondary was hit in the eye by Yishun Secondary's Tan Yuan Bin.

Keng Yang left the game to seek medical attention after the incident. Unity Secondary won the game 84-63.

The violent exchange, which was captured on video, sparked intense debate on popular citizen-journalism website Stomp.

School basketball player takes a hit
Click on thumbnails below to view.
(Photos: STOMP)

Several netizens criticised the sportsmanship of the offending player, calling his actions "shameful" and "dirty".

Not uncommon

Players and coaches we spoke to said violence is not uncommon in contact sports like rugby and basketball.

In 2006, two rugby players from ACS (I) were suspended - one for biting and the other for stomping on the head of an opponent.

A source close to the ACS(I) team told The New Paper: "The boys are taught to exercise discipline and self-restraint. However, boys being boys, they might do something silly in the heat of the moment.

"But what happened on Monday was a low blow and uncalled for. The opposing player should not have lost his cool."

The question is: Are school sports getting more violent, or are these incidents isolated outbursts?

Mr James Tan, 43, a Physical Education teacher with Mayflower Secondary School, felt that while violence off-the-pitch was uncommon, rough moves like hard tackles and fouls are commonplace.

He told The New Paper: "Incidents like this have happened in the past. Because of the upcoming YOG (Youth Olympic Games) and AYG (Asian Youth Games), school sports is getting increased media coverage.

"These incidents have caught the public's attention."

Mr Hong Weijian, 24, who coaches the Canberra Secondary basketball team, said players should learn to protect themselves from becoming victims of violence.

He said in Mandarin: "It is part and parcel of basketball. I tell my players that if they cannot take it they can go and play other non-contact sports like table tennis or badminton.

"However, I teach my players to protect themselves. For example, when defending, I tell them not to stick too close to attackers and to always protect their faces."

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