Death knell?

UIL considering the abolishment of ‘train horns’ at sporting events

The days could be numbered for ear-splitting celebratory train horns at games if a UIL committee’s recommendations are approved. Photo by Mark K. Campbell

When the University Interscholastic League’s Legislative Council Standing Committee on Athletics met in Round Rock June 16, it considered several pieces of new business.
One item especially could hit home in Springtown on Friday nights.
The committee entertained a written proposal to “ban train whistles and horns from games.”
That would include the mechanical wonder that is fired off in near-deafening loudness to celebrate each Porcupine score.
The proposal – which was concerned with how the sound of train horns affect the hearing of players, staff, and officials – was unanimously approved and forwarded to the UIL’s Medical Advisory Committee.
Formed in 2001, that committee examines areas concerning the health and safety of students in UIL activities.
The Medical Advisory Committee is comprised of statewide professionals in surgery, sports medicine, neurology, cardiology, athletic training, as well as representatives of coaches associations.
It was this committee that instituted guidelines for concussion management (2003/2006); required AEDs at all schools (2006); implemented random steroid testing (2007); restricted practice length during preseason two-a-day practices (2011); added cheerleading safety requirements (2013); and placed limits on full-contact practices (2013).

Other proposals
The Legislative Council also sent a slew of other written proposals forward:
• make it a penalty for a football team to enter the playing field if the band is still on it
• ban streamers, glitter, etc. from football playoff games
• permit fans to bring in cameras
• limit participation in off-season activities
• allow coaches to appeal officials’ calls
• alter the one-coach rule in golf
• make the double first base mandatory
• change the pitching limit in baseball
• increase match limits in soccer from 15 to 16
• add baseball and softball in 1A