What Is The NCAA Noise Rule?

Submitted by Enjoy Life on September 14th, 2009 at 4:35 PM

This is all I could find on noise (other than crowd noise -- that can be as loud as you want as long as you want):

"Persons subject to the rules including bands, shall not create any noise that prohibits a team from hearing its signals...."

But I noticed on Saturday that the bands and the piped in music often continued for several seconds (5-10 seconds at least) after the ball was whistled in, the clock was running, and the teams were already at the line of scrimmage.

Anyone know when the noise is supposed to stop? Was this technically a violation? What happens if the refs decide the noise is going too long?


Clarence Beeks

September 14th, 2009 at 4:39 PM ^

I don't know this for absolute certain, but my wife was a drum major (not at Michigan, unfortunately) and she swears that the rule is that both the band and the piped-in music has to stop when the ball is snapped.


September 14th, 2009 at 5:22 PM ^

It's possible that this is the rule, but that seems too exploitable to me. It's not a particularly well-hidden loophole and I feel like someone would have thought of it by now.

Then again maybe someone has, and it's part of the Athletic Department's evil scheme... Keep your eyes peeled for another Freep exposé.


September 14th, 2009 at 4:43 PM ^

They are cutting this way too close and we are going to get a penalty if they are not careful. I just hope we don't catch a penalty at a key moment in a big game.


September 14th, 2009 at 5:02 PM ^

I remember being at a game or two when the crowd got flagged for noise back in the early eighties.(Bo was pissed.) I think they started with a crowd warning and followed with a 5 yd. penalty. I also seem to recall something about lost times out. Rules have probably changed since then.


September 14th, 2009 at 5:03 PM ^

This is nothing new; the band has been doing this for years. You will notice they even continue to play after a touchdown, although much quieter, through the PAT. I wonder how the band noise compares to the canned music from the field.


September 14th, 2009 at 5:23 PM ^

Bring out the vuvuzelas! No? Anybody?

Side note- I was standing and screaming the whole game, and this guy told me to sit down. I turned to him and said, if you want us to win, you'll stand up and yell too.

Believe it or not, it worked.

S FL Wolverine

September 14th, 2009 at 5:31 PM ^

I do remember this happening with Bo as coach. I'm not sure if it happened at home, but I think it did. I remember one instance of this on the road where the home team lost all of its timeouts and then started taking penalties. I'm pretty sure it was against Wisconsin or someone else who wasn't very good (at that time at least) and it really had no impact on the game. Michigan was gonna win no matter what.


September 14th, 2009 at 7:11 PM ^

is Wisconsin 1986. They lost all their time outs for the 1st Half, then took about 20 yards in delay penalties down to about their 15 yd line. We were driving into the North end of the Camp Randall horseshoe and scored.

I don't recall the exact home game (mid-to-late 80's), but we did get a warning about noise at one home game under Bo.

The procedure (which changed later) was: Referee TO, Referee TO with PA warning, TO charged to home team, 5 yard delay against home team, TO charged to home team, etc


September 14th, 2009 at 6:28 PM ^

"So fans can't make noise during the play?"

No...that's not the rule. The rule only applies to "persons subject to the rules," which includes bands but does not include fans.

Persons subject to the rules, according to rule 1-1-6-b, are "All players, substitutes, replaced players, coaches, trainers, cheerleaders in uniform, band members in uniform, mascots in uniform, commercial mascots, public address announcers, audio and video system operators, and other persons affiliated with the teams or institutions."

The crowd noise rule is gone, but the band is still not allowed to play when a team is at the line of scrimmage and attempting to call their signals. I think Notre Dame's band stretched this rule as far as it can be stretched, but honestly I would be shocked if any referee ever called a 15-yard unsportsmanlike conduct penalty on a band.

Clarence Beeks

September 14th, 2009 at 6:50 PM ^

I agree, because it would be awfully difficult to assess the penalty against a band in situations where both bands are present. I have never, in my life, seen the visiting team be called for a noise violation which is technically possibly by the letter of the rule if both bands are present.

Clarence Beeks

September 14th, 2009 at 6:47 PM ^

"Persons subject to the rules including bands, shall not create any noise that prohibits a team from hearing its signals...."

I think a key consideration is what is meant by the word "signals". The reason I say this is that you say that the music continued for 5-10 seconds after the play was whistled in (I assume by this you mean after the play clock starts), which leads a lot of interpretation. For example, does "signals" mean in the huddle, or is it specifically calls made at the line of scrimmage? Both are technically "signals" depending on how strictly you want to interpret the word. And yes, I do realize that this is overly lawyerly, but then again that's what I do...

Enjoy Life

September 14th, 2009 at 9:32 PM ^

IIRC, the piped in music continued past when nd was at the line of scrimmage. In fact, in the Diary "Treatise on Music",


Shaqsquatch posted:

"there were quite a few occasions yesterday where the music was played on short breaks, and ND would time their snap to right after the music stopped. This gave them a little window of quiet ..."

This would seem a definite violation.

BTW, The NCAA dropped its crowd noise penalty prior to the 2006 season. Seemed longer ago than that.

PSALM 23 Rod N…

September 14th, 2009 at 11:37 PM ^

The NCAA Rules states that Student Athletes can only be subjected to a certain duration and decibel level of noise during home games. A certain Newspaper is looking into these alleged UM infractions.