Saturday, January 26, 2008


The lady sitting next to me in the bleachers said today was the first time she had been to the city meet. I told her it was my last. At least for the winter season anyway. I think there will be one more summer city meet in my future. The term is a bit of a misnomer. Schools from Knox and several surrounding counties comprise the Knoxville-area Interscholastic Swim League.

The city meet was supposed to be held in the new Allan Jones Intercollegiate Aquatic Center. at the University of Tennessee. Construction delays put the meet back in the 40-year-old Student Aquatic Center instead. I'm sure I wasn't the only person who was a little disappointed about not seeing the new building. The gallery was so packed with parents that it was difficult at times to even see the pool.

From past years, I knew that it would be a hot, stuffy and uncomfortable experience in the stands. I made sure to bring a seat cushion and to wear a short sleeve shirt under my other layers. The people seated in front of me were complaining about the odor of chlorine in the air. I had no problem with the smell or the heat, it was the noise that got me. I wish I had brought the earplugs I got from that country music network.

The crowd noise wasn't a problem. It was the ear-splitting sound from the P.A. system that left me in pain. We had to stick our fingers in our ears as the announcer listed which teams would warm up in which lanes. The more enthusiastic he was, the louder he got. I thought my head would explode when he told the owner of a Mazda Miata that their headlights were on. One school's swim team tried covering a loudspeaker with a towel to no avail. Another announcer would occasionally read the results of the boys' events. He was loud too, but not as piercing.

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Blogger Brian said...

Did anybody say anything to officials about the PA system being too loud? As someone who has done a great deal of PA in that building (but not in this case, I can say that it's very, very hard to determine if the system is too loud from where it is controlled. We've had alot of issues with it over the years at UT.

The new pool should be open and ready for the summer club season.

Anonymous Frank Murphy said...

Parents were not allowed on the pool deck. We only left the gallery balcony for an occasional breath of outside air. The announcers were on the other side of the building. We would have had to walk across the pool deck to get to them.

It was loud enough when the announcer spoke at a "normal" volume. Whenever he spoke louder, the noise through the PA was deafening.

I'm guessing that no one said anything because he was just as loud at the finals that evening.

Blogger Brian said...

That's too bad, we had some issues when we hosted the SEC Championships year before last. When the building was full, it was too quiet, when it was empty during diving, its was deafening. Luckily for that, we had people everywhere that could radio up to us that it was too loud. The control deck is like its own little world over there.


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