Warm-Up CD Protocol May Change Next Year

Over the summer, a decision will be made to determine whether sports teams will be limited to instrumental music during their warm-ups.

This possible change is a result of several incidents with sports teams throughout the year. According to athletic director Michael Hayes, there were issues with warm-up music for football, boys basketball and JV girls lacrosse. A recent incident with boys lacrosse drew attention to the trouble that warm-up CDs with lyrics can cause.

“When the boys lacrosse team put on their warm-up music for their first game, there were inappropriate lyrics on the CD. Someone alerted me, I listened myself and then shut the music off, as this isn’t a positive way to represent Rockville HS,” Hayes said.

For many players, being assigned to come up with the warm-up tape is a badge of honor, but this responsibility can have its downsides if issues arise.

“I downloaded some songs from Google and the rest I bought off iTunes. Some words weren’t bleeped out on the Google songs and that was the problem,” senior Michael Aust said.

The songs that seemed to cause the most problems for the boys lacrosse team were Kanye West’s “Power” and Meek Mill’s “Ooh Kill “Em.”

Hayes gave the team another chance to play warm-up music that had appropriate lyrics. “For their second game, which I wasn’t at, they made a new CD, but it still had inappropriate music on it, so a staff member shut it off,” Hayes said.

Aust made the first two CDs for the team. A third CD, made by senior Lucas Flavell, was submitted to Principal Billie-Jean Bensen, but was denied because it was not instrumental-only.

According to Hayes, a preseason meeting is held prior to each sports season with all the coaches. The coaches are told that they must have appropriate music or the consequence is instrumental music only. Coaches are ultimately responsible for informing their players of the guidelines when it comes to making a warm-up CD, Hayes said.

“At this point in time, if they want to listen to music, they must submit it to me so I can listen to it in order to play it and it must be instrumental only,” Hayes said.

The potential policy concerns student athletes, who are unhappy with the possible change to their warm up routines.

“Warm-up CDs are really important. They are to pump up the team and to help the athletes focus on the game. Certain songs have meaning; for them to take it away would take away part of warm-up,” junior Lauren Goldstein said. “Instrumental music would be just unnecessary because it doesn’t have any pump-up aspects.”

Although a majority of student-athletes are against the change, coaches do not see a problem with it.

“I do not think the music will affect games. I like warm-up music because it can help players get focused but if we didn’t have music, we should still be able to perform,” varsity boys basketball coach Steve Watson said.