Editorial: Safety's good, so is sense

By Craig Cooper

Security people are not always fun police out to ruin a good time.

They are hired to ensure the majority of people enjoy themselves, and to follow a set of rules. It can go wrong, though, when the rules are a little silly.

There is little scope for a security guard to exercise discretion, they have not set the rules - they are contractually obliged to enforce them.

As Northlander Tony Edwards found out, the rules can be a bit silly sometimes.

The flag he has carted to cricket matches featuring England for 15 years was ripped off its broom handle before the final Black Caps and England one-dayer on Saturday.

The handle, you see, could be deemed an offensive weapon.

In 2011, Tony was awarded the Allan McBride Trophy for his services to junior cricket in Northland. Every Saturday in summer, he is down at Kensington Park, collecting scores and running the junior cricket canteen.

There is no one less likely to transform the broom handle into an offensive weapon.

But at some point some idiot ruined it for Tony and the rest of us by doing just that - using a flag as a weapon. They must have - why else would a wooden flag staff be banned?

In the early 2000s at Eden Park a frozen kahawai landed on my shoulder, after being thrown from one of the top tiers of the terrace. It hurt. Someone picked it up and flung it further down. Australian bowler Glenn McGrath picked it up off the field with a grin.

It was a laugh, but it was frozen solid, with painful spikes and yes, could have taken someone's eye out. I would fully support the idiot who threw it being tossed out of the game.

But when did someone's beach ball take someone's eye out? This dangerous inflatable symbol of summer and fun is now also on the banned list at Eden Park.

Banning beach balls tell us that the rule makers have lost touch with what the audience wants - a great overall experience. There's a balance to be struck between allowing people to have fun and curbing potentially riotous behaviour. On that note, for goodness sake, bring back the beach balls.

- Northern Advocate

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