Hard liquor, alcohol abuse and drinking during the game on or off the field are out, the Town Council said at its Aug. 13 meeting, but it's not as if any of those practices were ever really in.
A council consensus rejected a proposal by Town Administrator Angela Howard to ban drinking of alcoholic beverages altogether at athletic venues. Such bans are in place in many California cities and towns, including Woodside, Ms. Howard said.
Passions did surface during the discussion.
"Temperate imbibing of wine and beer is part of the experience of getting together with friends and neighbors," said councilman and softball player Steve Toben. "I am vigorously opposed to the notion that we would prohibit alcohol. It would really change the complexion of the environment at ball games."
"I've been playing for years and years and I've never seen abuse of it," said softball player and resident SallyAnn Reiss.
It works out to about one beer per player, Councilman Ted Driscoll noted.
Mayor Maryann Moise Derwin, who said she comes from a family that has had problems with alcohol, wanted no drinking at all. "I just sort or rolled with it," she said in an interview. "It wasn't the will of the council (and) there was a lot of pushback from the community. ... I don't like the idea of the modeling of sports and alcohol for the kids. I really think we have a problem in our culture."
Town staff will revise the playing field permits to explain the guidelines for alcoholic beverages. League representatives, who fill out the permits yearly in Town Hall, will be encouraged to remind players of the guidelines.