ROBBINSVILLE, NJ -- With fall season championship tournaments well underway, the NJSIAA is reminding fans that all events it sponsors are alcohol- and drug-free. In addition, tailgating is strictly prohibited.

“We want all our fans, many of whom are minors, to have an enjoyable experience while attending scholastic sports competitions,” explains Steve Timko, the NJSIAA’s executive director. “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.”

The NJSIAA’s rules for event behavior clearly contrast with those for both professional and even collegiate sports, at which tailgating is often an institution and most venues sell alcohol. The difference, Timko notes, isn’t just the age of the athletes who are competing.

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“When you attend an NFL or Big Ten football game, for example, the entire environment is dedicated to fan entertainment,” he says. “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.”

About the NJSIAA

Established in 1918, the New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association (NJSIAA) is a voluntary, non-profit organization comprised of 436 accredited public, private, and parochial high schools. A member of the National Federation of State High School Associations, the NJSIAA conducts tournaments and crowns champions in 32 sports. Championship competition for girls is sponsored in basketball, bowling, cross country, fencing, field hockey, golf, gymnastics, lacrosse, soccer, softball, swimming, tennis, outdoor track, winter track, and volleyball. Boys’ championships are determined in baseball, basketball, bowling, cross country, fencing, football, golf, ice hockey, lacrosse, soccer, swimming, tennis, outdoor track, winter track, volleyball, and wrestling.