The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA


November 14, 2012

Hockey league cuts national anthem, then restores it amid outrage

PITTSBURGH — The Pennsylvania Interscholastic Hockey League – which includes Bishop McCort and Westmont Hilltop – will again allow the national anthem to be played before all high school hockey games in central and western Pennsylvania.

KDKA-TV reports PIHL Commissioner Ed Sam got about 4,000 emails – including many from other states – when the plan to ban the anthem was reported by the station.

Sam says the move was never meant to be disrespectful.

He says high school teams often play back-to-back games on rented ice and some anthem performers stretched out the song and created scheduling delays that prompted some games to be curfewed – that is, ended before time ran out. That’s why the league decided to do away with the song before all games.

To remedy that, the league is distributing a one-minute-15-second instrumental version of the anthem to be played before all games.


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