What to do in this situation?

Discussion in 'Our National Anthem' started by Joe Batters, Apr 27, 2017.

  1. Joe Batters

    Joe Batters New Member

    Hi, my kids play at a baseball park with 5 fields with one of them being a nicer field for games. The nicer field also has a P.A. system and the US Flag in centerfield. Before games at the nicer field they play the National Anthem over the P.A. system while my kids team is practicing. What is proper etiquette? Can we continue our practice or because we can hear the Anthem should we stop practice and face the flag with hand over our hearts?
  2. Robin Hickman

    Robin Hickman Well-Known Member

    Greetings, Joe Batter!

    Since the baseball park has five (5) fields all in one place and they are ALL within earshot of the loudspeakers and (I assume) within the line-of-sight of the flagpole), then all those present "should" stop what they're doing, face the Flag, remove their headgear (if appropriate), and put their right hands over their hearts (or salute) while the National Anthem is being played. NOTE: When headgear (baseball caps and other caps/hats) is removed, it should be done with the right hand and placed in front of the left shoulder so that the right hand is placed over the heart.

    My advice is based on the guidelines that are part of USC, Title 36, Section 301 "National Anthem".

    United States Code Title 36
    §301. National Anthem

    1. Designation. — The composition consisting of the words and music known as the Star-Spangled Banner is the national anthem.

    2. Conduct During Playing — During rendition of the National Anthem —
      1. when the flag is displayed —
        1. individuals in uniform should give the military salute at the first note of the anthem and maintain that position until the last note;
        2. members of the Armed Forces and veterans who are present but not in uniform may render the military salute in the manner provided for individuals in uniform; and
        3. all other persons present should face the flag and stand at attention with their right hand over the heart, and men not in uniform, if applicable, should remove their headdress with their right hand and hold it at the left shoulder, the hand being over the heart; and
      2. when the flag is not displayed, all present should face toward the music and act in the same manner they would if the flag were displayed.

    The key word is "should", as the section displayed above is a set of "guidelines" and NOT "commandments".

    QUESTION: Doesn't the "governing body" that owns and runs the baseball park already have some kind of written guidelines posted for all those in attendance covering the appropriate conduct during the playing of the National Anthem? If not, then in my opinion, they should.

    I hope this helps!

    Robin Hickman
    "Your Friendly Neighborhood Flag Man"
    Eugene, Oregon, USA.
    Joe Batters likes this.
  3. Joe Batters

    Joe Batters New Member

    Great! Thank you, Robin. That's exactly where I'm going next with this, the board or park district.
    Thank you, Robin. I wanted to get more info before I brought it up to the board or park district. One other question what if we could not hear the National Anthem over the P.A. system from the field we are at, but we can visually notice that they are playing it?

  4. Robin Hickman

    Robin Hickman Well-Known Member

    Hello, Joe!

    My advice, for the most part, would be the same. I must admit that I'm a little puzzled as to how you'd "visually" notice it while not being able to hear them playing the National Anthem. I'm assuming that (1.) there's an announcer present, and (2.) he/she would make some kind of "notification" announcement prior to playing the National Anthem. Of course, if one or more of the "practice" fields are a long ways away, then maybe it would be "OK" to keep on practicing? I guess it might all depend on what someone might consider "far away".

    Around here, some of the ball parks with multiple diamonds have them laid out so that they are right next to each other so that some of them "share" foul lines.

    Where about is your ball park located?

  5. Robin Hickman

    Robin Hickman Well-Known Member

    Hey, Joe!

    This is how the "Willamette Valley Babe Ruth" ball park here in west Eugene, Oregon looks like from a satellite view. If you draw a "circle" and then draw perpendicular bisecting lines through the middle (like "crosshairs) the backs of the four playing fields meet at the junction of the two lines, with the Home plate areas near the center and the outfields to the outer edges.

    Here's a Google Maps satellite view of the "Willamette Valley Babe Ruth" ballpark complex :


    This is kind of what I saw (and see) in my mind's eye when I think of a Little League (or Babe Ruth) ballpark complex.

    PS. I don't know if they have a flagpole, and if they do, I have NO idea where their flagpole is located.

    Last edited: Apr 27, 2017

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