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Alderman wants to ban beer pong outdoors

A beer pong competition at Bucknell University in 1980. (Michael Minor via Wikipedia)

An Evanston alderman wants the City Council to crack down on beer pong and other games that involve the consumption of alcohol.

Alderman Judy Fiske, 1st Ward, says Evanston should consider adopting an ordinance like one in the Borough of Belmar, New Jersey, that bans “games and contests that involve the consumption of use of an alcoholic beverage” if they take place “outside of a house, building or other structure” and can be viewed “from a public street, public sidewalk or other public thoroughfare, or from an adjacent property.”

In a lengthy 2005 report on drinking games, the New York Times reported that Belmar had adopted its ordinance that summer.

It also quoted a psychologist who said his research showed that nearly half of male players of drinking games “did so to sexually manipulate other players.”

And it interviewed college officials who said they’d had difficulty coming up with ways to eliminate or regulate the games.

This summer, in Texas, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reported that a large-scale beer pong party became a COVID-19 super-spreader event.

A beer pong ban might appear to conflict with the goal expressed at a ward meeting this week by Fiske and Alderman Don Wilson, 4th Ward, to reduce the number of non-emergency calls to police as part of the city’s police reform efforts.

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