Few people would claim that the vuvuzela is a great instrument to bring to a sporting competition. Whoever’s idea it was to put a giant vuvuzela on top of a building was one of these few people.
But many would claim that the vuvuzela might be the most obnoxious sounding instrument in the entire world. In fact very few people enjoyed hearing the bee hive swarming sound of the horn on their television set this summer at the World Cup. And we all knew it would only be a matter of time before other organizations begun banning the buzzing phenomenon from their own arenas. And many leagues have already put their foot down for a variety of reasons regarding the unnecessary instrument.
One Premier League side claimed that the horns would prevent the crowd from hearing any emergency exit announcements from the loudspeaker. Another club claimed that the horns could do significant damage to the ear lobe and banned the vuvuzela for medical reasons. And my favorite reason, Hull City banned the horns because quite frankly they were annoying to hear.
The MLB banned the vuvuzela from the Marlins-Rays series and any future venues and promotions, almost every Premier League club has banned the horns from their stadium, and even the MMA (the most intense sports organization in the world) has declared the vuvuzela to be too fierce.
Now basketball is beginning to get involved.
The vuvuzela will not be heard at the world basketball championships this year. FIBA secretary-general Patrick Baumann explains why the horn was outlawed in this statement.:
We want our fans to enjoy themselves and make lots of noise but not at the risk of spoiling it for others. The vuvuzela is simply not appropriate in a confined space such as a basketball arena. It’s a very loud instrument and some medical experts believe the decibel level and frequency can be harmful to hearing.
The enclosed environment is a fair reason why the vuvuzela should not be around and I think since the horn is authentic to South African culture it should remain that way for good. But Baumann would go on to admit that a large part of the reason why the vuvuzela was banned was not only because it would distract the fans during the match. Baumann suggests that the horns might negatively affect the game:
Besides our responsibility to protect the well-being of our athletes and fans alike, the sound level in an indoor sport arena could create communication problems between the referees and that could have a direct negative impact on the game. Previous tournaments have shown us that it’s possible to have a carnival atmosphere and passionate support without the vuvuzela.
And it appears the vuvuzela has finally been silenced.
photo credit: BigBlackBox