UEFA Regulations concerning Noise Levels and Instruments

Broadband Alarm Bands for Safety and Revelry in the Football Stadiums during UEFA Euro 2016

After the Football World Cup that was held in South Africa, this game is being regarded as one of the greatest offenders in terms of creation of stadium noise. Noise levels have seemed to cross the bearable limits. Football venues around the world have forced some spectators to think about wearing hearing protection. All over the world, there are football stadiums of all sizes and shapes that can accommodate anywhere from five thousand to a hundred thousand spectators. Europe has become the world football capital. It has numerous intimidating and different kinds of stadiums. The noise levels in these stadiums have crossed 100 dB (A). With UEFA Euro 2016, the tournament authorities have taken a strong stand for management of noise impact and spectators’ safety. They feel that prevention is much better than cure.

UEFA Euro 2016 Regulations concerning Noise Levels and Instruments

Resolution of noise problems after they occur could be a costly proposition. It is better to anticipate and manage potential noise effects very early in the tournament planning process. The regulations for UEFA Euro 2016 have made it clear that people entering the stadiums have to conduct themselves in a manner that does not injure, harm, endanger, obstruct or irritate others or cause damage to others.

It has also been made clear that things like horns, pipes, trumpets and vuvuzelas not be brought into stadiums. Besides creating unbearable noise levels, these instruments have been used previously as weapons and projectiles and they have been used to injure by cutting, thrusting or stabbing people as projectiles. Manually operated or mechanical devices that emit sounds such as megaphones, klaxons or vuvuzelas have been banned strictly in the upcoming UEFA Euro 2016 tournament.

Why was vuvuzela banned in football stadiums?

Vuvuzela is a stadium horn. It is made of plastic and is about a couple of feet long. It emits a loud monotone which is typically the B Flat major note. Many types of vuvuzelas have produced various frequency and intensity outputs. The intensity of their output will depend on the pressure exerted during the blowing technique. These stadium horns need lots of puff and pucker to blow and this needs some practice. Sports fans, particularly during the last two world cups have treated the vuvuzelas as ordinary trumpets and they have blown them ferociously in short spurts, creating a cacophony that is ear-splitting. It was reported by several fans who attended the matches that noise limits had exceeded the bearable limits, drastically.

Finally, it is clear that such vuvuzelas, horns, pipes and trumpets have been banned during the UEFA Euro 2016. Fans would not be able to take these instruments to the football games in Europe next month. Vuvuzela plastic horns have also been compared with equivalent buzzing sounds of millions of bees. Spectators who are sitting near these blowers are not able to hear whatever is going on during a match on the field. Vuvuzelas are known to create a sound pressure of 113 dB (a) at a distance of six feet from their device opening. This has put many spectators at a considerable risk of suffering hearing loss. These instruments have the risk potential of causing noise-induced hearing loss. The governing body of UEFA Euro 2016 has stated that horns and vuvuzelas cannot be deemed appropriate for making stadium noise in Europe for the reason of drowning out traditional songs or emotional responses to the action that is taking place on the field.

All fifty three football nations in Europe have been asked to enforce this ban at UEFA Euro 2016 and all subsequent national team and the club competition match levels.

Alternatives for making Noise in Football Stadiums

A lot of thought and meditation has gone into selection of quieter and safer equipment for football stadiums. Noise has been the definite factor when choosing alternative equipment to horns and vuvuzelas. The noise control regulation will include labeling of requirements to offer information when choosing quiet equipment. It has been recommended that broad band and other low impact reversing types of alarms be used in football stadiums for the purpose of safety and noise reduction. These types of alternative systems will be able to drastically reduce noise impacts on site.

Organisers of UEFA Euro 2016 have already banned horns and vuvuzelas for the reason of noise levels and also for being used as projectiles that could be thrown on to the football pitch. It has been observed before that these instruments were used as weapons in various matches. Broadcasters and individual spectators have been complaining about these instruments and have called for their ban. This ban was timely, particularly in perspective of creating a congenial atmosphere for the upcoming tournament. Fans are being urged to take the alarm bands in the football stadiums during UEFA Euro 2016. These alarm bands would be easy on the ears of other spectators while keeping the stadium environment safer than before.

These are safer and comparatively less noisy alarms. Broadband alarms that you come across in reversing vehicles create noise across a large range of frequencies. It could range between a croaking or quacking sound to a silencing type of sound like Ssh-ssh. They create generally a noise beam and they could be directional to people right in front instead of people sitting at all other directions. The sounds they create will quickly blend in with the background noise and they will definitely be within the hazardous levels. They will therefore minimize the disturbance to the surrounding spectators and allow spectators to exit the stadiums and reach their respective homes safely.

There are various types of alarm bands available. The smart or self-adjusting alarms are best as they would adjust themselves. They measure the ambient noise in the surrounding environment and adjust their noise levels accordingly. They operate typically at 5 dB (A) above the background levels. This indicates that when the background noise is low, then the alarm noise levels would also be low. As the noise in the background will increase, the alarm noise will also increase. This will maintain safety in the stadium environment. There are combination alarms also available. These are broadband alarms with models that feature both the self-adjusting and the broadband functions.