FIBA Bans Vuvuzela From Basketball World Championships
FIBA is taking steps to protect both your ears and your sanity as they've banned the use of vuvuzelas from this month's basketball World Championships in Turkey. On behalf of everyone everywhere I would like to thank the governing body of international basketball.
During this summer's World Cup tournament in South Africa, the vuvuzela became one of the most talked about story lines of the month-long event. FIBA, however, would prefer that they don't become a part of the atmosphere, citing health concerns as the catalyst for their decision. (The ban also includes any horn that can produce a "similar decibel level," so don't even think about it!) Anyone caught with a vuvuzela will face expulsion from the event.
Patrick Baumann, the Secretary General of FIBA, believes that the vuvuzela is not appropriate in confined spaces, such as basketball arenas. "It's a very loud instrument and some medical experts believe the decibel level and frequency can be harmful to hearing," he said.
That claim was backed up by the governing body's Medical Commissioner, Dr. Heinz Gunter. "If someone is sitting next to more than one vuvuzela it can cause damage to the ear," he said, "[as] the instrument has a very high frequency which is not good for the ears."
Yes, multiple vuvuzelas can reach harmful decibel levels, but it only takes one for annoyance levels to peak. Especially now that we've all got the initial taste of the instrument out of out mouths. Since the conclusion of the World Cup the instrument is best known for its comedic value in some senses and ironic use in most others. The ban likely won't disappoint many basketball fans at all.
Baumann feels that tournament can reach a "carnival atmosphere" without the use of the vuvuzela.
The World Championships begin on August 28, in Turkey, and will include 24 teams competing for an automatic bid to the 2012 Olympic games.