Under a headline that touts a "reminder about appropriate behavior" the NJSIAA on Monday issued a release announcing that tailgating is "strictly prohibited" at championship football games this weekend.
"We want all our fans, many of whom are minors, to have an enjoyable experience while attending scholastic sports competitions," NJSIAA executive director Steve Timko said in a statement.
Several South Jersey football teams will participate in championship games this week, with most of them during five games on Saturday and Sunday at Rowan University.
Fans of South Jersey teams have tailgated before championship games at Rowan in the past.
Saturday's games at Rowan will be Delsea vs. Wall at 11; Paulsboro vs. Salem at 2:30 and Millville vs. Toms River North at 6.
Sunday's games at Rowan will be West Deptford vs. Cedar Creek at 11 and Lenape vs. Timber Creek at 2:30.
Holy Spirit will play Mater Dei on Saturday at 1 at Kean University.
Tinko's statement said that a desire for an "enjoyable experience" for all fans is "why we instituted specific rules that don't allow certain activities and behaviors. All of our member schools are in agreement that we will not tolerate a few individuals enjoying themselves at the expense of everyone else."
The statement noted that NJSIAA events "clearly contrast" with professional and collegiate sports, where tailgating is regarded as an integral part of the fans experience and alcohol is served at many venues.
The statement indicated that professional and college games are often geared toward the spectators, while scholastic sports is designed for the athletes.
"When you attend an NFL or Big Ten football games, for example, the entire environment is dedicated to the fan experience," Timko said. "But high school sports are different -- event a state championship game contested at MetLife Stadium is an extension of the classroom. And you don't allow alcohol, drugs or tailgating at school."
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