Over the summer, the NCAA made some rule changes that looked to be for the betterment of the game of women’s basketball, however a recent article about the band at the University of Maine, may have some considering their summer vote. It’s a case of taking something to the extreme, an extreme nobody considered, that
Over the summer, the NCAA made some rule changes that looked to be for the betterment of the game of women’s basketball, however a recent article about the band at the University of Maine, may have some considering their summer vote.
It’s a case of taking something to the extreme, an extreme nobody considered, that could wind up leading to more and more rules the band at the University of Maine apparently attempted to fill every second of dead-ball time with music. Much to the chagrin of at least one reporter.
In the piece linked above, Pete Warner talks about an experience at the Cross Insurance Center last weekend that irked the longtime reporter.
“When the whistle blew and the band immediately broke into its next little ditty.” Warner said.
To some, this may not seem like too much of a bad thing at first, but when you consider there are 1-3 whistles per minute of playing time in basketball on average, that can add up quickly. It can also cause communication issues.
“The problem is, whenever that happened when a foul was called, PA announcer Sean Stackhouse was unable to do his job,” Warner said.
We’ve had the opportunity to get to know Stackhouse over the years, watching him blossom into the announcer he is today. That said, we hope he’s allowed to do his job to the best of his abilities because he’s a good announcer. They’re lucky to have someone that does a great job and really cares about the product he puts out.
It’s a tough situation to be put in, when trying to announce and you have other outside forces preventing you from doing so. A lot of college basketball P. A. announcers will forgo announcing late-entry substitutions following a timeout because the band is just too loud. We’re not calling for the banning of bands at NCAA basketball games, far from it. Personally, I’d love to see a pep band at EVERY NCAA men’s and women’s basketball game. It adds to the whole atmosphere of college basketball.
The thoughts that came through some minds when chatting about this over the summer was that it was going to be some over-zealous DJ who tried to turn the basketball game into a hockey game, complete with walk-up songs for players shooting foul shots and slowing the game down as the players sauntered up to the line. Such has not been the case from those that we’ve talked to from various positions and levels of NCAA basketball.
Still, it’s a great option for schools to have, but there has to be a happy medium, which is why I wrote this blog post back in June hoping to assist schools with their game operations before the season started.
There are some pretty good suggestions in there that would have made this specific situation at Maine all the much better.
- Allow the fans to breathe every now and then. While yes, it would be cool to fill every dead ball, it gets overwhelming when you have a stoppage, then 10 seconds later another stoppage, and two more in the next 15 seconds. Let the atmosphere breathe, you don’t have to fill every second of silence with music. If you don’t allow the fans to catch their breath with everything you’re doing, you will detract from the fan experience.
- Have fun, but also please allow the P. A. announcer to make announcements. Instead of going right into a song after an “and-one”, allow the announcer to announce the basket, who the foul was on, and then have a little stinger before the announcement of the person shooting the foul shot. This goes for any time the announcer should be announcing. The music doesn’t need to drown out the announcer, the announcer is informing the fans of what they need to know. Competing volumes detract from the fan experience, and with other new rules this year, please allow the announcer to explain all information necessary to the crowd.
- If you have a band, encourage the band to play too, the college basketball atmosphere sounds so much better with a pep band. Look at different things a trumpeter or drummer can add.
Here’s hoping this is just a minor hiccup and we don’t hear too much about game operations getting in the way of a good show. Some announcers have talked about the new rules leading to more foul shots and longer games, but give the players time to adjust. Like any new rules, they’ll come around.