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Pa. hockey league says its not banning national anthem - abc27 WHTM

Pa. hockey league says its not banning national anthem

Posted: Updated:
HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) -

The governing body of a Pennsylvania high school hockey league says it is not banning the national anthem from pregame ceremonies.

Pennsylvania Interscholastic Hockey League commissioner Ed Sam last week sent letters to 183 schools in central and western Pennsylvania and parts of West Virginia saying no one would be allowed to sing or otherwise perform the National Anthem before hockey games.

Sam said the league decided to do away with pregame performances because high school teams often play back-to-back games on rented ice, and some games had to be called before time ran out when anthem performers stretched out the song.

After receiving thousands of emails, the PIHL posted a statement on its website that said "the National Anthem has not and will not be banned."

The organization said a "badly worded statement" went out to teams and has since been "clarified and corrected." The PIHL also apologized for what it called a "misunderstanding."

The league is distributing a one-minute-15-second instrumental version of the National Anthem on CD and making sure facilities have the capability of playing the music disc.

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