As I’ve mentioned before, I don’t think that iPods/headphones have any place in crowded athletic situations. Apparently the USA Track & Field Association agrees: it has announced a rule change for its sanctioned events – no more iPods/headphones. Intentionally blocking out the signals that someone is next to or behind you isn’t just a bad idea for yourself, but those around you. I’d like to think that common courtesy would keep people from creating these dangerous situations for others (nevermind themselves), but it looks like it won’t. Why not? Thoughtful people like this:

“To ban them outright is just stupid, and if they want to disqualify me, they can,” Jennifer Lamkins, a teacher from Long Beach Calif., said before running the Marine Corps Marathon. “If they are banning them because we can’t hear directions, does that mean they should ban deaf people, too?”

Really. It’s that sort of person that requires implementation (and enforcement!) of a rule. Common courtesy is just too much to expect, it seems.