New Jersey bans tailgating at high school football championships

November 30, 2016 / Athletic AdministrationFootball
New Jersey’s athletic association has banned all tailgating at this year’s high school football state championships, an attempt to curb alcohol use in stadium parking lots.

NJSIAAFour stadiums will host this weekend’s championship games, and the New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association (NJSIAA) has “strictly prohibited” tailgating at all of them, according to a statement issued Monday from the organization. On Tuesday, the NJSIAA was forced to clarify that pre/postgame eating is OK, but partying is not.

“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 said in a statement. “But high school sports are different — even a state championship football game contested at Met Life Stadium is an extension of the classroom. And you don’t allow alcohol, drugs or tailgating at school.”

According to, several schools sponsored tailgating parties for students at last year’s sectional finals. Some schools did the same for regular-season games.

The NJSIAA gave no indication of what penalties schools or anyone else could face if the ban is ignored.

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