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Indiana school claims baby powder poses health risk, tries to end fan tradition with confetti bribery

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It is one of the most unique yet bizarre traditions in high school sports. The vibrant student section of one of the nation's most successful high school football programs celebrates the opening kickoff of each game with an explosive spray of baby powder, tossed in the air with enough gusto to blanket much of the cheering section.

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The baby powder flies in the Carmel student section — Nikhita Samala/HiLite photo

The baby powder flies in the Carmel student section — Nikhita Samala/HiLite photo

Now the administrators at that high school, Caramel (Ind.) High, are doing everything they can to phase it out, even at the cost of providing thousands of confetti poppers to supplant the traditional baby powder shower that greets the start of each Carmel game.

Word of the Carmel administration's attempt to veer away from the student body's football-based baby powder fetish was first reported by the school's in-house newspaper, the HiLite, and followed up by the Indianapolis Star.

According to Carmel athletic director Jim Inskeep and principal John Williams, the move to get rid of the baby powder comes from the school's desire to avoid any health issues that might come from having the baby powder land in a fan's eyes.

Still, Inskeep insisted the issues regarding the baby powder went beyond bottom line health concerns, too.

"Have you ever sat next to that?" Inskeep told the Star. "It's a really irritating thing that gets in people's eyes."

Irritating or not, the baby powder makes for great photos and has become a hallmark of the school's football powerhouse. Other schools have caught on to the baby powder spray as well, using it for chants in particularly hyped games.

Whether the attempted confetti switch proves successful over time remains to be seen. If nothing else, the Carmel officials can claim they made a valiant attempt to alter student behavior, even if there was nothing particularly wrong with what the students were doing in the first place.

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