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Fairfax High School Softball Field Sound System Q & A

Here are some answers to frequently asked questions regarding our new sound system for the Fairfax High School Softball Field. Have more? Let us know in the comment section or send us an email at

SchoolBoard (at) FairfaxVa.gov

When is the public hearing for the Special Use Permit for the sound system?

The public hearing date is to be determined. Once we are aware of the date, we will be sure to post it on our website and Facebook page.

What is the decibel level of the sound system?

During the second of the two sound test evenings the decibel level was measured by a member of the FHS physics department and it was determined that the sound level (in centerfield) was equivalent to a conversational level.

Will the sound system be used for events outside of the softball games?

No – The sound system will only be used for games sanctioned by the Virginia High School League (VHSL). The VHSL is the governing body for high school sports in Virginia. Therefore, the only games that sound will be used for announcing will be high school softball games. Further, there will be no sound available for community use scheduled on the softball field. This is similar to the provision currently in place for the lights.

How many nights per school year are there games and what months do they take place?

There are approximately 14 nights that games will take place.  Traditionally the games are played on Tuesday and Friday. Game begin at, or about, 6:30 p.m. and games usually only last 2 hours. The season starts at the end of March and will go through early May.   

How long does a softball game last and/or what are the times of the games?

A typical softball game will last between 1.5 and 2 hours. Most games begin at, or about, 6:30 p.m. and end at, or around, 8:30 p.m.

Will the sound system be used to play music before, during, or after the game?

Yes – just like the boys baseball team, music will be played before, during, and after the game. However, the level of music can be adjusted in an effort to be sensitive to the community.

Can the volume of the sound system be adjusted manually from the press box or is it a fixed volume?

Yes – the sound system can be modified from the press box.

Where are the speakers mounted and what direction do they face?

The current plan is to have the speakers mounted on the top corners of the press box and facing toward the stands (not the field). This directional speaker decision was based on feedback from the first sound night where they were initially pointed toward the field.

Do other softball fields in the area have sound systems?

Yes – This is a major portion of the problem for FHS.  All have, or are in the process of getting, press boxes and sound systems in an effort to be proactive and avoid potential issues with Title IV. Girl’s sports must have equity to boy’s sports and currently the baseball team has sound and a press box.

How much relief to the decibel level does the tree buffer provide?

Sound travels until it hits a solid object. The tree buffer, particularly when “leafed out” provides some sound mitigation as the speaker sound hits the trees and bounces back.

Why wasn’t a sound system installed when the lights were installed?

This past year the Athletic Booster club embarked on a capital improvement plan to include building a press box/storage facility for the softball program.   Prior to the completion of this facility, there was no easy method or process to provide sound.

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