Some people think that the noise is all part of the fun at a sports stadium. Just about any stadium features the din of loudspeakers blaring songs, fans cheering, and food vendors yelling as they hike up and down in the stands. Before the 2010 World Cup soccer championship in South Africa, fans, coaches, and even players wondering if the noise may actually disrupt the matches. The culprit? A popular stadium instrument called a vuvuzela.

Soccer fan holding a vuvuzela at a game

A vuvuzela is a plastic blowing horn that’s about 3 feet long and makes quite a racket. When thousands of fans blow into them at the same time, the noise is deafening.

Some fans said that the vuvuzela is an important symbol of South African soccer. But players at a warm-up tournament complained that they couldn’t hear each other or their coaches. Also, stadium officials worried that the horns would prevent fans from hearing important announcements.

What would you do if you were in charge? Ban the vuvuzela? Sell earplugs at the stadium?

Read some of the news coverage about the vuvuzela.

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