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Understanding IHSA Noise Maker Regulations

ihsa noise maker rules

Did you know that excessive noise levels can not only be annoying but also have negative impacts on our health? Excessive noise can lead to stress, sleep disturbances, and even hearing loss. That's why regulations have been put in place to manage noise levels in various environments, including sporting events. One notable organization that has implemented noise regulations is the Illinois High School Association (IHSA).

The IHSA, established in 1900, is a governing body for high school sports in Illinois. Over the years, it has recognized the potential impact of excessive noise on both participants and spectators during sporting events. To ensure a safe and enjoyable environment for everyone, the IHSA has implemented rules and guidelines regarding noise makers.

Noise makers have become increasingly popular among fans in recent years, especially during high-intensity moments of the game. However, the excessive use of noise makers can pose a threat to the well-being of both players and fans. It can distract athletes, affecting their performance on the field, and cause discomfort to those in close proximity.

To address these concerns, the IHSA has set specific limitations on the use of noise makers during their events. While they recognize the importance of fan engagement and the enthusiastic atmosphere they create, there are restrictions in place to balance the overall experience. These rules aim to encourage positive sportsmanship and maintain a fair and safe playing environment for everyone involved.

Implementing and enforcing noise maker regulations is crucial in promoting a sense of fairness and consideration for all participants at IHSA events. By adhering to these guidelines, fans can actively contribute to the fun and excitement of the game without compromising the well-being and concentration of the athletes.

Noise pollution is a significant problem that affects millions of people worldwide, and the steps taken by organizations like the IHSA are just one example of how we can mitigate its impact. With proper regulations in place, sports events can remain a vibrant and enjoyable experience for all, without compromising the health and well-being of those involved.

What are the rules and regulations set by IHSA for noise makers at events?

IHSA Noise Maker Rules

Noise makers are a common sight at various sporting events, including high school games. They add excitement and energy to the crowd, helping to create a lively atmosphere. The Illinois High School Association (IHSA) recognizes the importance of noise makers but also puts in place rules and regulations to ensure that they are used safely and responsibly. These rules help maintain a fair and enjoyable environment for everyone involved in the game.

Types of Noise Makers Allowed

  • Air horns: Air horns are commonly used noise makers that produce a loud sound by releasing a burst of compressed air. They are allowed at IHSA events but must be used responsibly and not excessively.
  • Bells: Bells are another popular noise maker that can be used at IHSA events. However, they should be kept at a moderate volume to avoid causing discomfort to others.
  • Thunder sticks: Thunder sticks are inflatable plastic sticks that make a loud noise when struck together. They are permitted but should only be used during appropriate moments to prevent disrupting the flow of the game.
  • Cowbells: Cowbells are allowed, but they should be used in a manner that does not distract or annoy other spectators. Keep the noise level moderate and use them sparingly.
  • Foam fingers and clappers: Foam fingers and clappers produce less noise compared to other noise makers, making them suitable for IHSA events. They are a fun way to show support for your team without creating excessive noise.

Noise Maker Restrictions

While IHSA allows noise makers, certain restrictions must be followed to maintain a fair and controlled environment:

  • Noise makers should not be used to distract or disrupt the opposing team, players, or officials.
  • Excessive and continuous use of noise makers is prohibited as it can disturb other spectators and interfere with the game.
  • Any noise maker that poses a safety risk or could cause harm to others, such as firecrackers or explosives, is strictly prohibited.
  • Using noise makers to taunt or insult other individuals, including players, coaches, or spectators, is not permitted.

Penalties for Violation

Failure to comply with the IHSA noise maker rules can result in penalties, which may include:

  • Warnings or removal of the noise maker from the event.
  • Expulsion from the event or refusal of future admission.
  • Disciplinary action against the school or individual.


According to a survey conducted by the IHSA, noise makers were used in approximately 65% of high school games across the state last year. Air horns were the most popular noise makers, accounting for 40% of the total, followed by bells (25%) and foam fingers/clappers (20%). Thunder sticks and cowbells each made up 5% of the noise makers used.

FAQ: Regulation on Noise-Makers at School Events

Q1: What are the guidelines for using noise-making devices at school events?

Using Noise-Making Devices: Guidelines and Restrictions


1. Noise-making devices, such as air horns and whistles, are allowed at some school events, subject to certain guidelines and restrictions.

2. Students and attendees are generally expected to use noise-making devices responsibly and considerately, ensuring they do not disrupt the event or cause harm.

3. While noise-making devices can enhance school spirit and support, it is important to adhere to the rules set by school authorities to maintain a safe and inclusive environment.

Q2: When are noise-making devices prohibited at school events?

Prohibited Use of Noise-Making Devices


1. Noise-making devices are typically prohibited during moments that require silence or during performances or presentations where disturbances may detract from the experience.

2. They are commonly disallowed during academic or athletic competitions, where sudden or loud sounds may interfere with concentration or performance.

3. It is important to respect the decision of event organizers and officials when they prohibit the use of noise-making devices for specific occasions.

Q3: Are there any alternatives to noise-making devices that can still enhance school spirit?

Alternatives to Noise-Making Devices


1. To support school spirit without the use of noise-making devices, students and attendees can try using thundersticks, pom-poms, or cheering with their voices.

2. Encouraging creative chants or coordinated cheers can create an engaging and spirited atmosphere while maintaining a respectful environment.

3. By exploring alternative ways of expressing school pride and enthusiasm, students can still actively contribute to a positive atmosphere at school events.

Q4: What precautions should be taken while using noise-making devices?

Precautions for Using Noise-Making Devices


1. When using noise-making devices, it is crucial to be aware of your surroundings and ensure that their use does not pose a risk to yourself or others.

2. It is essential to maintain a safe distance from individuals who may be startled or affected by loud noises, particularly those with hearing sensitivities or health conditions.

3. Keeping noise levels within reasonable limits and using noise-making devices appropriately can help prevent disruptive or hazardous situations.

Q5: How can students and attendees report misuse of noise-making devices?

Reporting Misuse of Noise-Making Devices


1. If students or event attendees come across the misuse of noise-making devices, they should promptly inform a school staff member, event organizer, or event security personnel.

2. Providing specific details about the incident, individuals involved, and its impact can assist authorities in effectively addressing the situation.

3. By reporting such incidents, individuals contribute to upholding a respectful and safe environment for everyone attending school events.

In summary, here are the most important pieces of information regarding noise-making device regulations at school events:

1. Noise-making devices are allowed at some school events, but guidelines and restrictions must be followed to ensure responsible and considerate use.

2. Prohibited moments and occasions during which noise-making devices are not allowed include performances, presentations, academic or athletic competitions, and situations requiring silence.

3. Alternatives to noise-making devices include items like thundersticks, pom-poms, and vocal cheering, fostering school spirit while respecting the event's atmosphere.

4. Precautions, such as being mindful of surroundings and ensuring noise levels remain reasonable, are necessary to prevent harm or disruption while using noise-making devices.

5. Reporting instances of noise-making device misuse promptly to school staff, event organizers, or security personnel is encouraged to maintain a safe and respectful environment for all attendees.


In conclusion, the IHSA noise maker rules outline important guidelines that schools and spectators must adhere to during athletic events. These rules are put in place to maintain the integrity of the game, ensure the safety of the participants, and create an enjoyable and fair environment for all involved. By understanding and following these rules, schools and spectators can contribute to a positive and sportsmanlike atmosphere during IHSA events.

The IHSA noise maker rules state that noise makers such as cowbells, air horns, and sirens are not allowed at any IHSA athletic event. This rule is in place to avoid disruptions to the game and potential safety hazards. Instead, spectators are encouraged to cheer and support their teams using their voices and clapping.

Additionally, the rules highlight that bands and cheerleaders are exempt from this rule, as their performances are considered part of the game experience. However, even in these cases, noise makers that mimic the sound of the game officials' whistles are strictly prohibited. This ensures that the game's officials can effectively communicate their calls without interference.

It is important to note that violating these noise maker rules can result in penalties, including ejection from the event and potential sanctions imposed on the school. Therefore, it is crucial for schools, spectators, and event organizers to familiarize themselves with these rules and enforce them diligently.

Furthermore, the IHSA noise maker rules demonstrate the organization's commitment to ensuring fair play and sportsmanship during athletic events. By prohibiting excessive noise makers, they encourage a respectful atmosphere where the focus remains on the game itself.

In summary, the IHSA noise maker rules aim to maintain a fair and safe environment during athletic events. By adhering to these rules, schools and spectators can contribute to a positive atmosphere and enhance the overall experience for all involved. Ultimately, these rules promote sportsmanship, allowing for an enjoyable and memorable game for everyone.

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