High school hockey league aiming to cut costs by banning national anthem

Published On November 13, 2012 | By Arielle Aronson

We’ve all heard those national anthems before a sporting event that drag on forever. Instead of simply completing the anthem, some singers use every second and then some of their few minutes of fame to show off their voice to a mostly uninterested audience. But despite the occasional theatrics, the national anthem is typically regarded as an unquestioned opening to any sporting event.

Now, a high school hockey league in Pennsylvania is looking to change that.

According to a Pittsburgh CBS affiliate, Pennsylvania Interscholastic Hockey League commissioner Ed Sam sent an email to 183 high schools in central and western Pennsylvania urging schools to refrain from playing the national anthem before games in order to save time.

Ice time is very expensive; it can cost high schools as much as $300 per hour to rent the ice for their local team. Because of the cost of ice, time is tight at high school hockey games, and in Pennsylvania, some games have been halted early because the teams could not finish the game in the allotted amount of ice time. Sam said he sees cutting the national anthem from the routine as a way to help teams complete their games in tight time windows.

“The National Anthem should not be played only because of time constrains,” Sam said. “It’s not that we’re not patriotic, that’s the furthest from the truth.”

It appears the local communities do not agree with Sam. According to the CBS affiliate, the PIHL will hold another meeting to discuss the matter due to the outcry over his initiative to get rid of the national anthem.

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About The Author

Arielle Aronson is a sports writer and recent graduate from Boston University, where she earned a Bachelor’s of Science in Print Journalism Magna Cum Laude. Arielle has a passion for sports cultivated from growing up with two older brothers. She also enjoys playing the piano, reading and traveling.