'Thunder' claps could help UH against Tide
By Stephen Tsai
Advertiser Staff Writer
The University of Hawai'i is seeking permission to distribute 8,000 pairs of noisemakers similar to ThunderStix for the Warriors' nationally televised football game against Alabama Nov. 30 at Aloha Stadium.
ThunderStix are inflatable cylindrical tubes that fans bang together. Originating in Asia, ThunderStix were popularized by fans of the Anaheim Angels during the recent baseball postseason.
The sound made from banging the tubes are "very loud, probably as loud as I've ever heard," said UH football coach June Jones, who attended Game 7 of the World Series Sunday in Anaheim.
Aloha Stadium officials, who have discouraged the use of artificial noisemakers, did not immediately return a telephone call seeking comment.
The NCAA prohibits the use of artificial noisemakers during basketball games. Even though there are no such restrictions for volleyball, last week's women's match between UH and Notre Dame was stopped when the visiting coach complained about the sound from the ThunderStix-like noisemakers in the Stan Sheriff Center. UH had distributed 4,000 single tubes for that match.
There is no specific NCAA rule barring the use of ThunderStix-like noisemakers at football games. Tubes were sold at last week's football game at Fresno State, and some Boise State fans bring horns and cow bells to their home games.
UH's marketing department received 10,000 pairs of noisemakers similar to ThunderStix for the Alabama game. But recently, UH officials learned that artificial noisemakers were not allowed at Aloha Stadium.
However, UH was alerted that the ThunderStix-like tubes were used at a recent high school football game at Aloha Stadium. UH plans to ask Aloha Stadium officials to lift their ban and allow the distribution of the tubes, which the school refers to as "thunder balloons."
"If we can do them, that would be great to have," Jones said.
UH wideout Justin Colbert described the banging of the tubes as "kind of annoying. It's like a sharp piercing noise that's really irritating. But as long as our fans make that noise when the other team has the ball, that's OK with me. I don't mind if the other team gets irritated."