Strict 20 minute halftime changes don’t phase Texas Tech’s Goin’ Band, athletic department | Lubbock Online

When the Red Raiders leave the field for halftime on Saturday at Jones AT&T Stadium, the clock will still be ticking.

The Big 12 has changed its rules to limit halftime to just 20 minutes, with no extensions — even for homecoming, or senior days and or for everyone in line for the restroom when the second half is scheduled to begin.

Big 12 officials coordinator Walt Anderson described it at the football media days event in July as “20 minutes, period, end of story.”

In the past, he said, officials have waited until teams have cleared the field or for coaches to finish interviews on the sideline.

“No longer the case. It’s 20 minutes,” Anderson said, describing it as a national standard.

Who will be affected by that? Obviously, the band and other performers and those in the audience who would rather go to the restroom or eat hot dogs while the band is playing.

But Tech’s band director is happy about the change, and the athletic department believes fans will have plenty of time to grab a soda or snack and make it back to their seats.

Director: ‘It’s a good thing.’

Duane Hill, director of the Goin’ Band from Raiderland, said the change will have little effect on the band.

“We’re allotted seven minutes and 30 seconds for halftime. Here at Tech, if there’s no visiting band, they give us as much time as we want or need,” Hill said. “If we have a visiting band, that’s when we’d be a little bit more aware of our time of our shows, because both bands have to perform in that seven-and-a-half minutes, (and get) on and off the field.”

Hill said he loves that the new rule will give the football teams an exact time for when to come back onto the field.

“What’s happened in the past is they would come out a little earlier, and some kickers from visiting teams would be on the field while we’re trying to do our performance,” Hill said. “And vice versa; there’ve been times that the bands have held over past that 15-minute time slot, and so we would get in the way of the football team. So it kind of goes on both sides of the field, if you will. It’s a good thing.”

There are instances when the band will have to be even more creative than usual in its show planning to make sure it doesn’t go over, Hill said. While he typically designs shows to last five minutes, with a minute or two added on for spirit, he said certain games will be harder. The band’s show for the last game of the year will have to be shortened to allow time for the senior march, Hill said.

What about those hot dogs?

Robert Giovannetti, senior associate director of athletics, said Tech does a pretty good job of moving people in and out of lines for concessions. Last year, he said, they tried to expedite drink purchases with separate lines so no one wanting a soda is waiting on someone to get food. This year, Tech announced ahead of football season that fans will be allowed to bring an unopened bottle of water — 20 ounces or less and one per person — into the stadium.

“We think we’ve got a pretty good system in place to move people in and out,” Giovannetti said. “People are just going to have to be aware of the time and getting back quickly.”

He said Tech is aware of the potential for problems and will staff appropriately.

When it comes to special games like homecoming, Giovannetti said Tech has already started planning.

“For the most part, I think it’ll be incumbent upon us to make sure our fan engagement team is following the script and moving people in and out appropriately,” he said.

Tech may even consider moving some events to pregame, he said.

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