International Basketball

FIBA Ban: Vuvuzelas Muted For World Basketball Championships

ATLANTA - JULY 28:  A fan of Club America plays two vuvuzelas during the match against Manchester City during the 2010 Aaron's International Soccer Challenge match at Georgia Dome on July 28, 2010 in Atlanta, Georgia.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images
Ryan MarshallCorrespondent IAugust 25, 2010

From watching the World Cup Ssoccer games, we've all become accustomed to hearing the piercing noises emitted from an instrument called the "vuvuzela."

Originally used in South African villages to summon distant villagers to attend community gatherings, the vuvuzela has found its place in the commercial world as a subject of controversy at sporting events.

On one hand, they are very efficient "noisemakers" and thus, are very useful at sporting events. On the other hand, they can be very harmful on ears and can even cause permanent hearing damage at close distances without proper protection. 

In a basketball arena, these instruments should not be welcome.

Not only do they have the potential to cause hearing damage to nearby fans as well as players, they have the potential to cause communication problems between players and referees and coaches and such which "could have a direct negative impact on the game," as stated by FIBA secretary-general Patrick Baumann.

Such issues do not normally arise in basketball, so the vuvuzelas have been banished from both men and women's basketball events. 

They made the right decision.

The vuvuzela works better for soccer because the area is much less confined and it is, in fact, part of the South African culture. Despite TV viewer complaints about the noise, the vuvuzela was allowed at the World Cup for soccer somewhat as a thematic element adding to the South African atmosphere in which the games were played.

In past years, it has been proven that plenty of noise-making can occur without the presence of the vuvuzela, so in essence there is nothing to gain from allowing the vuvuzela at FIBA basketball events—and everything to lose.

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