Local teams will continue playing despite the latest developments in the Persian Gulf war, although one high school event could be in jeopardy because of anti-war protests at the Fifth Regiment Armory.
Protests at the armory have interrupted or canceled high school track meets at the building this week. The 29th annual National Guard Meet is scheduled to be run there tomorrow, and officials are hoping it won't have to be canceled as well.
"It's a major competition, with teams from 83 schools, and it would be a real shame if we couldn't run it," said meet director Ed Walker. "The protesters aren't hurting anyone but the kids."
As of yesterday, Walker said, the track meet was on. National Guard officials will make the final decision, he said.
Other area sports events are going on as scheduled, although many local teams are acknowledging the soldiers fighting in the Persian Gulf.
The Blast is taking the blast out of its pregame player introductions in deference to the war.
The Blast had been introducing its players during home games by having them run through large sticks of fake dynamite. General manager John Borozzi said the explosions will stop.
"We will still introduce our players as usual, but there will no longer be any loud explosions accompanying the player introduction," Borozzi said. "We are sensitive to the fact that many young children attend indoor soccer games in Baltimore, and with our close proximity to several armed forces bases, there's a chance that some parents could very well be in the Persian Gulf. Eliminating the explosions at Blast games shows we are aware how serious war really is."
The Blast will join the rest of the teams in the Major Soccer League by wearing an American flag patch on the left sleeve of jerseys. Teams also will observe a moment of silence before the national anthem is played at each game.
Towson State and UMBC are members of the East Coast Conference, which issued a memo to its members yesterday asking them to observe a moment of silence or prayer before games. The Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference, which includes Loyola, has done the same. Before last night's game at Loyola, there was a moment of silence prior to the national anthem. Mount St. Mary's had a similar gesture before last night's game against Fairleigh Dickinson.