Hockey Group Discourages Playing National Anthem

8:40 PM, Nov 13, 2012   |    comments
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Westmoreland County, PA (KDKA) -- It is a controversial move by the organization that oversees local high school hockey.

With ice time so expensive, and in order to keep the games running on time, the league commissioner has suggested doing away with the National Anthem. And the resulting backlash has been fierce.

Playing the National Anthem is as much a part of sporting events as hot dogs and yelling at the officials.

But PIHL Commissioner Ed Sam sent out an email to the 183 high school teams in Central and Western Pennsylvania saying the singing of the National Anthem is not permitted.

Sam said, "The National Anthem should not be played only because of time constraints, okay? It's not that we're not patriotic, that's the furthest from the truth."

High school hockey must rent the ice time, so every game is carefully timed to get as many in as possible in the shortest amount of time.

"Ice is very, very hard to get and it's not cheap. We're talking three-hundred dollars an hour sometimes or even higher than that."

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.

Sam points out teams aren't prohibited from playing the Anthem, just discouraged.

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