AISD takes hardline stance against 'baby powder toss' at sports events
UTA officials brought the issue to the attention of school administrators after a recent football game at Maverick Stadium
Beginning with athletic competitions occurring this week, the Arlington ISD is putting the kibosh on a student fad at sports venues in the city.
In a memorandum sent Wednesday to high school principals at all six campuses, the tossing of baby powder has been banned at Maverick Stadium, Wilemon Field, Cravens Field and all gymnasiums, effective immediately.
The fad began several years ago when students would throw baby powder into the air when football teams took the field and scored touchdowns. Subsequently, school administrators discouraged the practice, but the activity has apparently returned.
According to AISD Assistant Athletic Director Kim Peach, parents bringing infants to athletic competitions will be allowed to bring baby powder in diaper bags, but all other uses will not be tolerated.
In the memorandum, it was disclosed that the initial health and safety concerns were brought forth from officials at UT Arlington, who witnessed the ritual at football games played at Maverick Stadium.
“The staff at UTA has communicated that there are clear health concerns for students and fans who are breathing in the baby powder,” the memorandum states. “In addition to breathing concerns, the baby powder causes the bleachers and steps to be slick and therefore, increases the risk of fans falling.
“We have been asked to address this situation through the individual campuses to let students know that dispersing baby powder at UTA will not be allowed. Students will be removed from the game if they spray the powder into the air at any time during one of these events.”
University Interscholastic League spokesperson Kate Hutchins said the UIL was aware of the practice, but left it to the discretion of each individual school district in policing the incidents.
"The local school districts determine what is allowed and what isn't at each stadium," Hutchins said. "There is not a UIL rule against it."
However, at a football game two years ago in the Rio Grande Valley, the entire student section at Somerset High School was ejected from a game against Laredo Cigarroa for throwing baby powder after a touchdown.
The practice of throwing baby powder (or talcum powder) at football games has been outlawed in several states in recent years, according to reports.
The story has been updated with new information.