09:04 PM ET 10.07 |
Chapin,South Carolina's High School stadium is getting to be a tough place for opponent's to play. It's taking a "hostile atmosphere" to another level. During Lugoff-Elgin's game at Chapin on October 2nd, Chapin's p.a. man played music while LE was on offense and at the line of scrimmage ready for the snap. This just wasn't done once or twice. It was done all night long. Was this illegal? Was it just wrong to do and poor sportsmanship? Was it within the rules and ok to do? Did it have an effect on the game?
I had several people come up to me at the half and ask me those questions. It was my impression at the time that it was illegal. Well today, I finally had time to call the south Carolina High School League (SCHSL) and ask about this. It wasn't my intent to complain on Chapin or get them in trouble. I just wanted to find out to satisfy my own curiosity.
I spoke with Bruce Hulion, Director of Officials, and he said it is not illegal to play music while the opposing team is on offense and at the line of scrimmage. Hulion did say that that the one of the ways for that to be stopped though is if opposing players or coaches complain that it's a problem or if the opponent has several penalities (i.e.-false starts) then they can invoke the "catch all" unfair advantage act. This is enacted if the officials deem something distracts the opponents or distracts play. Hulion went on to say that there was an incident in the upstate last week that someone was blowing a long plastic horn. The officials stopped play and told both coaches that play would be ceased until the horn blowing was stopped. An announcement was made. The horn stopped blowing and play resumed. Hulion did say that this was a bit on the bad sportsmanship side, but again, not illegal.
I've read some comments on palmetto football's message board that said that Chapin's Head Coach Scott Earley did this when he was at Myrtle Beach. If this is indeed the case, he has brought that same philosophy to Chapin. I couldn't really see where the music playing had an effect on our guys not hearing signals or play calling. I think it did help pump up the Chapin crowd and players all night. The Chapin sidelines were into the game from the National Anthem to the final whistle and that makes for a great home field advantage.
One thing I've done while being the p.a. announcer for LE is build up a strong homefield advantage by doing things to get the crowd more involved in the game. I feel like over the course of six years of doing football, I've accomplished that to some extent. I've been able to do so without playing music while the opponent is at the line of scrimmage. Yeah, I've played music while teams were in a huddle or tried to get our fans to get up and make some noise for our defense, but playing music while a team is at the line of scrimmage or talking at that moment crosses a line. It's against the rules in the NFL, college and all levels of indoor arena type football leagues.
I don't want to cross that line at Lugoff-Elgin Stadium. I feel we have a high level of professionalism at LE and we can accomplish the goal of getting that homefield advantage by not doing things that are considered bad sportsmanship. What goes around will come around and Scott Earley at Chapin will be the recepient of this same kind of tactic.