Football

New Jersey will not allow tailgating before state title games

Diana and Ben Scoon, husband and wife from Hamburg, fly a “House Divided” flag over their tailgate at the Jets-Giants preseason game.

Diana and Ben Scoon, husband and wife from Hamburg, fly a “House Divided” flag over their tailgate at the Jets-Giants preseason game.

Just because a series of high school events is taking place at a collegiate stadium doesn’t mean fans can partake in all the joys of a college football Saturday. At least according to the New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association.

As reported by the Press of Atlantic City, NJSIAA officials have released a public statement exhorting all who will attend this weekend’s state championship football games at Kean and Rowan Universities on Saturday and Sunday to refrain from tailgating or any other party activities around the games, which they cited as, “an extension of the classroom.

“When you attend an NFL or Big Ten football game, for example, the entire environment is dedicated to fan entertainment,” NJSIAA Executive Director Steve Timko told the Press. “But high school sports are different — even a state championship football game contested at MetLife Stadium is an extension of the classroom. And you don’t allow alcohol, drugs or tailgating at school.

“We want all our fans, many of whom are minors, to have an enjoyable experience while attending scholastic sports competitions. And that’s 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.”

On Tuesday, the NJSIAA tweeted further clarification.

The announcement impacts fans of Holy Spirit and Mater Dei Prep (Non-Public II title game Saturday afternoon at Kean), Millville and Toms River North (Public South Jersey Group V Saturday evening at Rowan) and Cedar Creek and West Deptford (Public South Group  II title Sunday morning at Rowan). Their party plans have likely evaporated before they even got off the ground.

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