House Football at the Lawrenceville School: Tackling a Divisive Issue


  • Eric R. Langstedt Mount Saint Mary College


educational administration, stakeholder relations, alumni relations, Lawrenceville School, tackle football


In September 2013, the Lawrenceville School, an elite private high school in New Jersey, received national media attention upon announcing that after 124 years of tackle football contested between Academic Houses, they would instead play flag football. As Lawrenceville boasted the nation’s longest-standing tackle football league, the administration’s decision surprised and angered many of the Lawrenceville School’s traditional stakeholders while also eliciting opinions and comments from populations not affiliated with the school. With activist groups forming around this issue, the alteration of this tradition posed potential consequences for the school that extended far beyond the gridiron.