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The slow pitch season has officially ended, and it was an exciting postseason for each of our schools that participated.
Last weekend definitely presented a challenge for me, as I had the task of hitting up four schools in one day, trying to cover as much as possible for each team; that after hanging out at the county cross country championships earlier that day.
Overall, I enjoyed the day and had the chance to watch some great games, and I went into Tuesday’s 1A north half title series expecting the same excitement.
It never fails that at this time of the year, I make the trek to Smithville to watch one of our 1A schools take on the Lady Seminoles, and this year was no different.
Smithville is a great team, deserving of its return trip to Jackson. There’s no doubt about this, and they are the defending champions for a reason, and it is because of the great job by Jeremy Duke and his coaching staff. Keep this in mind for what I’m about to say.
The MHSAA has clear rules as to what fans can and cannot use when cheering at ball games. This list includes the vuvuzela, also known as that obnoxious horn none of us like.
The use of this particular noise maker, among others, was seen at Smithville by its student section. When the situation was addressed in the first game to the officials, it was overlooked, and the students were allowed to continue using something that is specifically banned by the MHSAA.
I love a good student section, don’t get me wrong. This is why I dedicated an entire competition to them last year, but what I don’t like is when the students take part in activities they know are not allowed. What I don’t understand is why the officials allowed this to keep going.
Those items are a distraction to the players and are banned for a reason. I’m not saying this is solely why West Union lost the series, but you can’t tell me it didn’t affect the girls, and the officials stood there and allowed it to happen.
There’s been plenty of controversy over student sections in the last week, including right here in New Albany. I’m staying out of that issue, but it is amazing to see how situations are handled at different schools.
If the MHSAA is going to have a handbook and ban particular noise makers at its sporting events, then the officials need to abide by this. There is no excuse for allowing what happened on Tuesday night.