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Why are alcoholic beverages sold at the Koshien high school baseball tournament?

15 Comments

Just after Keio University High School (representing Kanagawa Prefecture) defeated Sendai Ikuei (Miyagi Prefecture) 8 to 2 in the Koshien tournament's final game on August 23, an intoxicated man in the stands along the first baseline began brawling with other spectators. It took several police officers to quell the melee.

The violence reportedly brought some female fans in the stands to tears.

A day later, internet news site J-Cast News reported the story beneath the headline "Police take action." Its reader comments section was flooded with complaints about about the fact that alcohol consumption was allowed in the first place.

"I feel uncomfortable about sales of alcohol at a high school sporting event," wrote one poster. Another felt that alcohol at high school baseball games "should be banned outright." And still another went so far as to write that "If this matter goes unaddressed, the sanctity of high school baseball stands to be tarnished."

Actually from 2020 sales and consumption of alcohol at the tournament had been temporarily banned due to the COVID pandemic -- when the teams played to empty stands -- but were reinstated from 2022.

J-Cast News (Aug 28) subsequently contacted the tournament organizers and Koshien stadium's management to ask inquire about their policies concerning alcohol.

According to the official website of the Hanshin Koshien Stadium and a spokesperson for sponsoring organization, beer, cocktails, shochu, sake and other alcoholic beverages were sold at concession stands during the recent summer tournament. Vendors equipped with beer dispensers also circulated through the bleachers selling beer to seated customers.

Sales of beverages in glass and metal containers such as cans and bottles have long been prohibited. Nevertheless, stadium entry was also permitted even if a spectator had consumed alcohol before arriving.

The incident on Aug 23 was not the only case of misbehavior. During a game on Aug17, an unemployed man was arrested for disturbing public order after he got into an argument with a spectator and punched a police officer in the jaw. The man was arrested and charged with assault.

A spokesperson for Hanshin Koshien Stadium explained its policy toward booze as follows:

"We don't make all the decisions at the stadium; basically, that's based on the organizer's intention -- that is, it's the organizer that decides what is sold and what can be brought in. At present, no changes to this policy are being considered."

The Japan High School Baseball Federation (Nippon Koyaren), organizer of the Koshien Tournament, and its corporate sponsor Asahi Shimbun, issued a joint comment to the effect that "We allow the sale of alcoholic beverages in order to cater to the various styles of enjoyment by players' family members, friends, and others, while watching the games

"We had asked that sales be suspended for the summer tournament in 2021, no spectators attended in order to prevent infection. But we allowed them to resume in 2022. From the viewpoint of hazard prevention, cans and bottles are prohibited from being brought in."

From J-Cast News' point of view then, it would seem the organizers are primarily concerned with spectators' enjoyment, as opposed to setting a good example for the flower of the nation's youth.

J-Cast News contrasted policies at the Koshien tournament with those of another sports organization, the National Federation of State High School Athletic Associations. The latter regards sports as an aspect of educational activities and has never allowed sales of alcohol at venues, the most recent of which was the Inter-High School Athletic Meet, held mainly in Hokkaido from July 22 to August 21.

The federation has gone on record as saying alcohol sales have never been permitted at its games, the main reason being that "club activities are a part of educational activities and ... a place where the results of these activities are presented."

A representative for the federation added that it does not impose specific regulations regarding the bringing of alcohol into the venues, but he added, "We have never confirmed that alcohol was consumed in spectator seating areas. In addition, we have not received any reports concerning this from organizing committees.

Another sport included in the Inter-High School Games is soccer. According to its official website, at the National High School Soccer Championships held at the National Stadium in Tokyo from last December 28, 2022 to January 9, 2023, alcohol in cans and bottles were prohibited, as was entering the venue under the influence of alcohol.

© Japan Today

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15 Comments
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Why are alcoholic beverages sold at the Koshien high school baseball tournament?

Easy to answer, the spectators want to enjoy the event and drink such beverages while the brewery companies want to sell them for making some money and keeping their jobs. That's called a market economy or capitalism. I wonder how that is questioned. Or is it because some high school students are present? Again, I don't see the problem. In my generation we even met with our teachers sometimes after school , offered them a beer too and had nice talking and time with them. Ok, they didn't gave hints but made the tests and exams even a bit harder, but it was also no problem then, and remembered afterwards, the world was still a nice and friendly happy place to live. The opposite of what everyone is exposed to nowadays.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Is alcohol NOT involved in any thing today. All it seems to take is a minuscule reason to use it. Personally, I see it as a human weakness, and a very bad one, and it is getting worse if that's possible.

-5 ( +2 / -7 )

this reminds me of a South Park episode on the topic:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lyt3_fZ4_KE

2 ( +2 / -0 )

I think beer is the only thing that can make baseball tolerable. Sorry but i have been to many a game so I know first hand.

6 ( +8 / -2 )

I’d need a lot of alcohol to sit through a baseball match.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

I need super-strong drugs to get through a game. Beer is not strong enough.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

Why are alcoholic beverages sold at the Koshien high school baseball tournament?

Simple Advertisement = Yen big sponsorship and it makes money!

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Alcohol sales can be educational. As soon as a drunk causes a problem, taser them and drag them off to the cells. Sound moral lesson for everyone.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

The violence reportedly brought some female fans in the stands to tears.

Maaate.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

There are kids at all kinds of sporting events where alcohol is sold and consumed. The fact that the event is being played by kids does not have much bearing. There are loads of adults in the stands and it is incumbent upon the staff to ask for proof of age before selling alcoholic beverages to anyone. You could just as well ask why alcohol is sold at convenience stores, movie theaters, izakayas, etc because kids go to those places too.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Why are alcoholic beverages sold at the Koshien high school baseball tournament?

Because alcohol is the the only hard drug that has been approved for public use in Japan, and they allow people to use it in most places, including on the streets.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

an unemployed man was arrested 

I’ve noticed a lot of these people recently.

What is going on?

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

Why are alcoholic beverages sold at the Koshien high school baseball tournament?

Because parents, who are adults, and other adults in the stands want to have a nice cold beer while watching baseball. 99% of the adult fans know how to control themselves even while having some.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

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