A local television station reports that PIHL commissioner Ed Sam got about 4,000 emails - including many from other states - when the plan to ban the anthem was reported by the station.
Sam says the move was never meant to be disrespectful.
He says high school teams often play back-to-back games on rented ice and some anthem performers stretched out the song and created scheduling delays that prompted some games to be curfewed - that is, ended before time ran out. That's why the league decided to do away with the song before all games.
To remedy that, the league is distributing a one-minute-15-second instrumental version of the anthem to be played before all games.