PA hockey league discourages singing of Natíl Anthem
PHILADELPHIA, Penn. (WHDH) -- High school hockey teams in Pennsylvania are being advised to stop playing the National Anthem at games. The organization that oversees the teams says it takes up too much time and could cost money.
Playing the national anthem is as much a part of sporting events as hot dogs and yelling at the officials.
PIHL commissioner Ed Sam sent out an email to the 183 high school teams in the central and western part of the state saying that the singing of the national anthem was not permitted.
"The national anthem should not be played only because of the time constraints. It's not that we're not patriotic, that's the furthest from the truth," said Sam.
High school hockey must rent the ice time, so every game is carefully timed to get in as many in as possible in the shortest amount of time.
"Ice is very, very hard to get, okay? And it's not cheap. We're talking $300 an hour sometimes," said Sam.
So, when the time for a game is up, play is stopped even if the game is running over because of an overly verbose singing of the national anthem, which happened recently.
"I don't agree with it. I think it's a bad policy. I think there's gotta be some other time that can be cut,” said one woman.
Commissioner Sam pointed out the teams aren't prohibited from playing the anthem, just discouraged.
"I go back to the 1960s with high school hockey, and we've always played the national anthem. So, I think that it's something that should be done. It's part of our history and our country and absolutely should be part of the game," said one man.
Mock suggested a pre-recorded standardized minute and a half version for all games. Standup: the story isn't over though; Sam said because of the backlash they've been getting, they're going to have another meeting.
They're going to talk about it and see if they can make some adjustments to put the nation anthem back into the games.