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Old Thu Nov 04, 2004, 12:07pm
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Question

Do any of you have concerns about hearing loss resulting from years of officiating and constant whistles less than a foot from your head?

Hearing loss has its advantages like not hearing a chippy coach or a nagging wife but in the long-run, do long-time officials see this as a necessary hazard of the job?

Is there anything that can be done to prevent hearing loss while officiating?

Ken
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Old Thu Nov 04, 2004, 04:56pm
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I've been concerned about that for a long time but not for that reason. I'm deaf in my left ear. I don't hear complaining coaches sometimes but I also don't hear requests for time outs especially if the gym is rocking. I've been very chargrined at times when coaches will yell "Didn't you hear me calling for a time out?" I've found that to compensate I have to use my eyes much more and look at the coaches more. Anyone else out there have that problem?
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Old Thu Nov 04, 2004, 05:52pm
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Huh? Can you speak up?

Z
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Old Thu Nov 04, 2004, 06:17pm
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Having worked around noisy jobsites for many years, I experience the same problems with diminished hearing when there is a lot of background noise. However, I think it helps more than hinders to not hear all the comments made by players, coaches, and fans.

I have enough experience to anticipate when timeouts will probably be called and look for them. My only fear is missing some of the trash talk or taunting between players that leads to other things.
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Old Thu Nov 04, 2004, 06:56pm
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I noticed at the end of last season that my hearing was not as good as it had been. Seems to be alright now, however. But I share your fear. That Fox40 is pretty loud!
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Old Thu Nov 04, 2004, 07:22pm
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Quote:
Originally posted by zebraman
Huh? Can you speak up?

Z
He wants to know if we constantly put our whistles at the foot of our bed.
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Old Fri Nov 05, 2004, 02:29am
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My hearing is fine. I think coaches are getting quieter though in my old age.:-)
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Old Fri Nov 05, 2004, 10:36am
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I could easily see some day whistles replaced with infrared devices that officals squeeze or blow that when activated, automatically turn off the clock and alert everyone of fouls with some central whistle. That would save a lot of hearing loss and eliminate timing errors.

Ken
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Old Fri Nov 05, 2004, 11:09am
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Quote:
Originally posted by kgruber
I could easily see some day whistles replaced with infrared devices that officals squeeze or blow that when activated, automatically turn off the clock and alert everyone of fouls with some central whistle. That would save a lot of hearing loss and eliminate timing errors.

Ken
Is think that is the same day that we get "bench decorum" devices. Any time a coach is out of their coaching box, we just push the button and it delivers an electric shock to them until they are seated on their rubber chair.

Z
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Old Fri Nov 05, 2004, 01:12pm
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Amen!

wl
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Old Fri Nov 05, 2004, 01:17pm
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Interesting..

There are a couple of issues that are beginning to bother me as I add year after year to officiating, and hearing loss is one of them.

Personally, I don't find it the least bit funny or amusing, and believe that it is a problem. The problem with hearing loss is that it is so subtle, that you don't notice it until you notice it, and then it is to late.

Without a doubt, the Fox40 for all the good it has done over the last 17 years, is the main culprit IMO.

I'm still waiting for some official who just happens to be an MD or some enterprising grad student to do a Thesis on this very subject. Personally, I know for a fact that my hearing has been greatly reduced over the years, and seeing that I work mainly in a low noise office, it can only be attributed to officiating. At 48 I should not be constantly saying, "Huh?, What?"

I'm sure most of us have experienced that knife stab in the ear when standing next to a wall and I always wonder how those blasts are effecting my overall hearing. It's gotta effect it in some way. Hey, we're talking 20 years worth of whistling here.

Anyway, I might experiment this year with some plugs of some type. I know I've lost a certain amount of hearing and I'd like to protect what I have left.

With this sparking new interest having thought I was the only one worried about hearing loss, in the upcoming weeks, I think I'll run some db tests using our sound meters. I'm curious to see exactly how many db's the Fox40 is delievering, especially at close range. When I get some results, I'll post them here.


goose
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Old Fri Nov 05, 2004, 03:10pm
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Re: Interesting..

Quote:
Originally posted by Goose
... I'm curious to see exactly how many db's the Fox40 is delievering, especially at close range. When I get some results, I'll post them here.
I would REALLY like to see the results of that testing Goose. Please do remember to post the methods and results. I have a feeling that we will be quite surprised with the outcome.
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Old Fri Nov 05, 2004, 04:43pm
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With no insult to anyone, I'd personally suggest visiting an ENT and having your hearing checked. I don't doubt that the whistle may have caused some issues, but there may be other issues as well. Let the Doctor run the appropriate tests. In fact, to do a proper test you might want to get tested before the season begins, and again after the season.

I'm not a doctor, but it is possible that he will find another issue that has contributed to your hearing loss. He may even be able to correct the problem.

Anyway, just my 2 cents.
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Old Fri Nov 05, 2004, 05:19pm
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Wink

I have a friend who has been officiating for over 20 years and has experienced absolutely no hearing loss. That's because he never blows his whistle.
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Old Fri Nov 05, 2004, 10:12pm
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Re: Interesting..

Quote:
Originally posted by Goose
I'm curious to see exactly how many db's the Fox40 is delievering, especially at close range. When I get some results, I'll post them here.


goose
The back of my FOX40 package claims that it produces 115db.
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