Ring them bells loud, clear

Artificial Noisemakers.
By policy of the KSHSAA Executive Board, use of fireworks, cannons, air concussion cannons, hand-held explosives and other devices, is not permitted at any KSHSAA post-season athletic event. Member schools have authority to determine if they permit such devices at their regular-season events.
Artificial noisemakers such as, bells and sirens may be used with permission from the game management. If the manager questions the safety of any noise maker it shall not be permitted. Parading with such noisemakers is always prohibited and they are not to be used while the game is in progress.

— Kansas State High School Activities Association’s 2009 Football Manual.

Playing the devil’s advocate, I questioned an Iola High’s administrator about the policy of no artificial noisemakers at Iola High football games while other schools’ fans have been using them. I knew the KSHSAA policy which has been in place for a long, long time.
Last year the use of an air-horn and a cow bell by Iola High fans drew complaints from others in the stands. At that point, the IHS administration made the decision that Iola fans could not have such noisemakers at games.
It was explained to me that it was not so much the devices used but how and where they were used that was the problem. A noisemaker right in front of the Iola home pressbox interfered with announcing the game and radio broadcasts plus coaches communicating to teams, not to mention the ears of those sitting nearby.
The KSHSAA policy also states that no such noisemakers at postseason games are allowed but last year Paola High’s fans had those.
There has been no such restriction by Iola High administrators this season, he pointed out.
If Iola fans want to bring cow bells to games, they can. But ... know that administrators are aware of where you are sitting and how and when you use the noisemakers. Air-horns are not a good idea, so think of something else.
Don’t stand in front of the pressbox. Make those sitting around you aware you have it and plan on using it. Don’t just ring the bell over someone’s head or near ears, lift it up in the air above your head.
Raise the noise level with your cheers not jeers.
At away games, take them but be aware that the home administration can ask you to not use them.
Iola High’s Mustangs have three games left in the regular season. Tonight Class 4A district play begins at home against Fort Scott. Two wins and the Mustangs are back in the playoffs. It’s within reach of this Mustang team but the players have to play as well as they did in the second half at Labette County last week. They need to build on that.

IOLA HIGH has a Southeast Kansas League champion — Roman Yocham won the SEK varsity boys’ cross country race Thursday in Chanute.
Iola High’s Fillies finish regular season volleyball play Saturday at Garnett then host a Class 4A substate tournament next Saturday.