this is a rant like so many rants
started... not finished
let me take a glance at it then hit PUBLISH AND POST
shared space... public space... kids and adults using the same space
DC and its newly renovated astro turf fields are a concept of "shared space" that may need some mediation
to the users of these fields there is a often conflict
groups of adult pick up soccer games start to feel a sense of entitlement as the meet on a semi regular basis
while there is a simple rule that these players like to over look
PRIORITY TO FIELD USE AT THE NEIGHBORHOOD SCHOOLS GOES TO KIDS AND FAMILIES
sadly... sign or no sign
this concept gets over looked
yesterday I had conflict with a group of soccer players
I was short and sweet... "sorry... we have this field reserved for a kid's soccer practice from 6:30 to 8:00 on Thursdays"
then I was attacked with an onslaught of rationalizations, falsehoods, and fabricated ideas why they have a right to the field and when the kids' right to the field ends
they tried to tell me that the kids had the field until 6:30... which is when the after school program ends and frees the field up
they tried telling me they had the field reserved
there were all sorts of people saying all sorts of stuff
really... no one was listening to anyone
they clearly were not listening to me
they were demanding that I prove my claims
while doing nothing to verify that they had any claim to the field
other than being there and being bossy
this needs to be sorted out
this will not sort itself out
I tried to fetch the school principal to sort it out
in the end I took half the diminutive field and they got half the field
letting them know that they should expect us here every Thursday for the rest of the season
once we started practice on our side and they played on their side
a woman from the front office wandered out and set things straight moments after a woman from the after care program came out set them straight
the most vocal of their group was not present to hear the backing of my statements
update since then...
on that night we split the field...
we each took half of the diminutive field... which worked fine
especially since we had a slight showing for the first practice of the season that happened before a holiday weekend that had people fleeing town
it seems that one of the players involved in the discussion went to see if he could RESERVE the field
or maybe he went to check to see if there was any documentation about our kid soccer team had the field reserved
there was nothing "downtown"
all that was done with the school principal...
which has me going through a process more formal that asking the principal and getting permission
instead... I have filled out some forms to allow usage of this field at this time
a bit of a hassle... well... maybe just a hoop
but in the end...
this may not help the pick up soccer players
I do not think that they will be able to reserve the field
as the first priority will go to the school community
after all... we put time and money into having this facility renovated
and after all... it is the campus of our kids school
I foresee more conflict
a number of teams with school age kids will put in requests to use this field
then there need to be days where the fields are open for FREE PLAY... walk ons... if these adults are here on a regular basis for their pick up games... there will not be a time for the kids to get on the field at play
which defeats the purpose of the fields
I appreciate the adult athlete
I am an adult athlete
I do not feel that the adults should take the field at the expense of the children
some schools have posted signs... FAMILY AND CHILDREN HAVE PRIORITY
the adults just muscle on just the same
non-verbally intimidating the children until they just do not feel comfortable and they go elsewhere
over the summer I experienced this at a number of fields around the city
all of which were turf fields at schools where neighborhood kids were unable to play because adults were dominating the space
what does this show...
WE NEED MORE PRACTICE FIELDS!
for adults and children...
grass fields need to be available as well as turf fields
and the players need to take a responsibility
not just use... but contribution
some of that contribution will be in the form of understanding the concept of SUSTAINABILITY
not to play on grass after a rain or when the fields are wet
then of course... respecting the other park users... ESPECIALLY CHILDREN
then finally... keeping the area clean
that is enough for now
hopefully this all sorts it self out and people can get back to chasing the ball around