I stumbled across this post over at the NC Soccer Forums and it took me by surprise.

During the lightning/rain delay, a couple of young adult spectators had a ‘tailgate’ party in which beer was consumed in what appeared to be pretty large quantities.

First, in a county park, where there is a no alcohol policy; second, these were people associated with one of the better teams in the U17 age group. The outcome was a couple of Cabarrus County citations for alcohol in the park, after & between the matches – a breath-a-lizer test on the individuals, and a very public display of what not to do in front of your children.

The NOT cool factor in posting this is the fact that many times on here, forumites discuss and giggle over their consumption interests. I have read on several occasions (here on this forum) about the drinking in parking lots of regular season matches and at tournaments.

Now, I love to tailgate and will admit that I’ve tailgated with alcohol at collegiate football games, etc. I’ll even admit that I’ve consumed alcohol in state parks where it’s prohibited. Granted, I understand why it’s banned in many parks – because too many people don’t know when to say when.

But at a kids soccer match? Am I just being naive here? I consume my fair share of beer, but it would never even cross my mind to drink it at a youth soccer tournament. Especially knowing the issues we can have with sober soccer parents sometimes :)

I consume alcohol in front of my kids and they know why I can and they can’t and the impacts of irresponsible drinking. In the evenings after all the matches when we travel to tournaments, you’ll usually find most of our team parents in the hallway or a designated ‘adult’ room drinking beer and socializing while the kids roam about the other hotel rooms in our block playing Playstation, watching movies, having dribbling contests, you name it. The key ‘role model’ issue being responsible consumption and no driving.

But drinking during a youth soccer tournament just seems wrong to me. Tailgate, have a good time, grill some good food, but leave the beer at the hotel!