Fury over Floodlit alcohol ban – Palatinate



Maiden Castle will continue to enforce a rule banning unlicensed alcohol from lit cup matches, with only drinks purchased from the new bar at Durham’s main sports center being permitted on the premises.

This policy was originally implemented in February 2022 in consultation with sports club captains and college officers last year in response to a number of disappointing crowd behavior issues over the past season, according to the University.

The rule change – which Palatinate Sport includes will cover all lighted matches – comes specifically after the notorious spectator ban imposed on University College, Hatfield Collegeand Van Mildert College following alleged fan misbehavior over the past academic year.

To enforce this provision, the University has started employing stewards who will check fan possessions when they enter the stands around Maiden Castle.

It is unclear whether there will be an increase in the number of clashes in the latter stages of the respective tournaments, or what powers these stewards have been bestowed by the Durham team.

This policy was originally implemented in February 2022 in consultation with Sports Club Captains and College Officers last year.

One of the first matches to be played under the shadow of this alcohol restriction was a football match between Gray College and St Aidan’s College.

In response to the move, the two colleges staged a joint protest against the rule change. Various banners were displayed throughout the 3-2 affair, claiming that the limitation encourages “toxic alcohol consumption” and “lower prices (students)”, while putting them “at risk”. Some expect this will force students wishing to drink at games without the necessary funds to pre-drink excessively, and potentially do so in dangerous ways.

Moreover, it has also been hinted that this was just a ploy by the University to ensure that it derives substantial profits from the often popular tournaments at the expense of the students.

Speaking at the protest, St Aidan’s JCR chairman Joseph Eaton said: “Fans feel like they are being deprived of prizes for lighted matches because they can no longer bring their own drinks from home. .

“For example, we have students who want to get involved, who want to have a drink and support their team, who can’t afford to drink at the bar and who can no longer bring the cans they have home to the game.. I really feel like my students just see this as an unnecessary extra cost that gets passed on to the students.

He added: “These rules make it more likely that students will drink at unhealthy levels or cut their drinks from home at the door. I prefer my students to enjoy their drinks for 90 minutes instead of 90 seconds. It’s the culture of toxic drinking that we don’t want to see, not the students picking up a few cans on football. »

Pictured: Banners were displayed throughout the game.

Spectators also sought to voice their objections to this rule change, with a An Aidan supporter says, “Floodlit is such a great time of year because we can get the whole college together for a free event. If students want to drink, they do so cheaply by buying their own alcohol. Maiden Castle now requires students to pay their bar prices rather than license prices. This is unfair to many students who are now paying exorbitant accommodation fees.

“This new policy promotes a toxic consumer culture. Students won’t stop drinking during lighted games, so instead of drinking during the game, they now try to drink as much as possible before the game because they know they can’t take drinks.

“What the hell does the University expect with its only Maiden Castle alcohol policy? Do they really believe that students will want to go back and forth between 3G1 and the Maiden Castle bar every time they want a pint?

“It’s an entirely financial policy (because it) forces students to buy drinks from their overpriced bar. If it was really to try to encourage the students to behave better, they’d say don’t come to the Maiden Castle bar either.

As mentioned, this rule change stems from widely reported fan misconduct over the past academic year, which led to spectators at three colleges being banned from attending lit cup matches.

What the hell does the University expect with its Maiden Castle alcohol-only policy?

In a statement to Palatinate Sport, University College Rugby Football Club – who played a now infamous game against Hatfield and were then forced to play without fans in subsequent rounds – said: “[We] find the decision ridiculous.

“We were already forced to play games without fans last year as a punishment and now the university wants to impose an extreme and reckless measure on everyone. This will only encourage people to pre-drink or to sneak in their booze.

It is therefore expected that such displays of opposition to the new rules will not subside any time soon.

Quentin Sloper, Director of Student Enrichment at Durham University, said: “The atmosphere created at College Floodlit meetings is generally very positive and the behavior of most spectators is exceptional.

“Nevertheless, we had to address some issues last year, and this is one of many measures designed to help keep staff and officials safe, and to raise general standards of spectator behaviour.”


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